Homer Dodge Martin was born in Albany, New York, and studied briefly with Hudson River School artist William Hart. He worked in the Tenth Street Studio Building from 1865-1882, sketching in New England during the summers. The National Academy of Design admitted him as a member in 1868. Artist John La Farge, befriended him and exposed him to contemporary trends in paintings. Martin began to move away from his Hudson River background and toward a more impressionistic style.
Martin lived in France between 1882 and 1886. There, he absorbed the vision of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and the Barbizon School. His paintings became more abstract and atmospheric; he began to paint from memory instead of his earlier meticulous sketches. By 1888, he had moved back to New York and was working in a studio.