Martin Henry Colnaghi was a member of the Colnaghi family of print publishers and art dealers, founded by his grandfather, Paul Colnaghi (1751-1833). In the early nineteenth century, a family dispute led to a division of the business. Paul and his older son Dominic worked together as P. and D. Colnaghi in Pall Mall, while the younger son Martin continued the business in Cockspur Street. Martin filed for bankruptcy in 1843. His son, Martin Henry Colnaghi, also ultimately pursued a career as an art dealer. He worked for his uncle Dominic, and for Henry Graves, before opening the Guardi Gallery in 1876 in a space vacated by the dealer Louis Flatou. In 1887 he moved his business to 53 Pall Mall, and renamed it the Marlborough Gallery.
A review in the Times in March 1887 suggests that for some period of time Colnaghi occupied both gallery spaces: “A few doors further up the Haymarket is Mr. Martin Colnaghi’s exhibition of modern pictures, re-organized and set in order in consequence of his having removed his collection of old masters to the Marlborough Gallery at the west end of Piccadilly” (“Art Exhibitions” 4) This division of the business didn’t last for long. On 26 February 1889, Colnaghi placed an advertisement in the Times saying, “Mr. Martin Colnaghi, owing to mistakes which are daily occurring, begs to give notice that he has no other address but the Marlborough Gallery, 53, Pall-mall” (1). Colnaghi died in 1908 (“Mr. Martin Colnaghi,” Times, 29 June 1908, 9.)
Address: 53 Pall Mall SW
Start Date: 1887
End Date: 1908
See also: Guardi Gallery
Dealer: Martin Henry Colnaghi (1821-1908)
Farr, Dennis. “Colnaghi family (per. c. 1875-1911). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004. [http://oxforddnb.com/view/article/65614] Accessed 11 October 2004.