Elizabeth Martineau

Born in Pétion-Ville, Haïti.
Lives and works in Washington DC, USA.


I am made of that mixture of earth, light and history
that is
Haïti. My roots are deep, and the colors of my country are engraved forever in my memory. “


 Elizabeth Martineau’s paintings are an explosion of luminous colors, sparkling with flecks of gold. They reflect not only the vibrant personality of the artist, but also her rich and diverse background, her far-ranging life experiences, her love for Haïti, and her passion for the arts. 

Martineau “breathed art” from the earliest age. Born to a poet and a clothing designer, she grew up in Port-au-Prince in the home of her uncle, the architect and sculptor Albert Mangones. Mangones was a co-founder of the Centre d’Art, where all of Haïti’s artists congregated. Among his friends and frequent guests were Charlie Chaplin, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, le Corbusier, Alexander Calder, Charles and Ray Eames. Martineau recalls that, for her birthdays, these artists would give her paintings instead of toys.

Martineau had to live abroad during her youth. She knew Botero when in Medellín, Colombia, and spent time with Lois Mailou Jones, a family friend and her godmother, while in DC.

Martineau approaches her work like a sculptor. She applies layers of paper of varying sizes and textures on a sheet of Arches paper and paints with acrylic over this support. Her subjects are delineated by a thick, black brushstroke, and brought to life with deep and bright colors. Finished with streaks of golden paint and a coat of varnish, the paintings’ rich, warm tones glimmer – with more or less intensity depending on the light – creating a feeling of intimacy. Although her themes are extremely varied, the same arresting style creates a cohesive ensemble that captures the imagination. 

Looking at these artworks is like reading a book, each layer corresponding to a different chapter. The serene gaze of the sitters, waiting expectantly or posing casually; the presence of the forest priestesses, vibrant and deeply empowered; the enigma of the masks and totems, reverberating energy… our interpretation of each piece depends on our own perceptions and experiences, on our mindset. The artwork not only takes us on a trip to the Caribbean, Africa or beyond, but also on a trip within us. 

A graduate of the School of Fine Arts and Textile Design of the University of Medellín, in Colombia, and of the Corcoran School of Art, in Washington DC, Martineau has exhibited in Colombia, France, Haiti and the United States. Her work is featured in numerous collections.  

In the Media 

Art Education

 Corcoran School of Art, Washington DC, USA

BA in Fine Arts and Textile Design, University of Medellín, Colombia




Solo Exhibits


Un Moment de Silence dans le Bruit des Couleurs, African Art Beats, Washington DC


Golden Reflections of Layered Lives, African Art Beats, Washington DC


The Watergate Gallery, Washington DC

Femme-Fleurs, F. Clay-Tor Gallery, Washington DC


Galerie Marassa, Miami, Florida


Galerie Marassa, Miami


Galerie Marassa, Miami, Florida


Tina’s Gallery, Potomac, MD


Tina’s Gallery, Potomac, MD


The Design Center, Miami


Levi Artefacts, Washington DC, solo


Levi Artefacts, Washington DC


Galeria Botero, Medellin, Colombia


 Duo Exhibits


The Watergate Gallery, Washington DC


The Watergate Gallery, Washington DC


L’Air du Temps – Artists Martineau & Ratinoff, The Watergate Gallery, Washington DC


Row Gallery, Arlington, Virginia


Tina’s Gallery, Potomac, MD


 Collective Exhibits


Le Toit de la Grande Arche, Paris, France


The Watergate Gallery, Washington DC


Femmes et créations, Le Toit de la Grande Arche, Paris, France


The World Bank, Washington DC


Organization of the American States, Washington DC


International Art Forum, New Orleans

Galerie Marrasa, Port-au-Prince, Haïti


Galerie Marrasa, Port-au-Prince, Haïti


Galerie Marrasa, Miami, Florida


Galeria Botero, Medellin, Colombia

Gallery François, Washington DC, solo


Gallery François, Washington DC


Gallery François, Washington DC


The World Bank, Washington DC



Organization of American States

Embassy of Haiti in the United States

Levi Turner Collection

Several of her artworks have been gifted by collectors to the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.


Review in the Washington Post Art Section of August 6, 2023