Thursday, 24 July 2014

John Martin: Painting the Apocalypse

The early Victorian artist John Martin, was born in Haydon Bridge, Northumberland on 19 July, 1789.

A devout Christian imbued of fire and brimstone he drew inspiration for his paintings from the New Testament, the rugged landscape of his home, and his experience of the great forges and ironworks of nearby Tyneside.

Though it was also said there was madness in the family and his older brother Jonathan was indeed to be committed to a lunatic asylum.

Extremely popular in his day Martin was courted by Royalty and had a great many prominent patrons, and as a result was to go from the one bedroom cottage of his birth to grand houses and great wealth.

Following his death on 17 February 1854, he quickly went out of fashion however, as his work was derided for its bombast and absurd theatricality.

Indeed, with his paintings locked away in storerooms and no longer exhibited for many years it became possible to purchase a John Martin art work for little more than a few shillings.

Christ Stlleth the Tempest

The Great Day of His Wrath

The Destruction of Herculaneum and Pompeii

The Eruption of Vesuvius

Belshazzar's Feast


The Experience of Adam and Eve

The Deluge

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