John Martin

1789        Born in Haydon Bridge, Northumberland.

1803        Apprenticed to a coachmaker in Newcastle upon Tyne.

1804        Martin receives tuition from a Piedmontese painter by the name of Boniface Musso.

1805        Settles in London.

1809        Employed in the glass painting studio of William Collins but works on oil paintings in his spare time.

1810        His first submission to the Royal Academy is rejected.

1812        Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion is a success when exhibited at the Royal Academy. The picture is sold and this marks the start of his career.

1821        50,000 people pay to see his painting Belshazzar’s Feast which is exhibited at the British Institution.

1830’s     Martin devotes himself to printmaking but his copyright is constantly infringed by imitators, bringing him to financial disaster.

1851-3    Paints the three huge Last Judgement paintings.

1854       Dies in Douglas, Isle of Man.


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John Martin - Selected Works

1817        The Bard, New Haven, Yale Center for British Art

c1821       The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, London, Tate

1823        The Seventh Plague, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts

1837        Manfred and the Alpine Witch, Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery

1839        The Coronation of Queen Victoria, London, Tate

1852        The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah, Newcastle upon Tyne, Laing Art Gallery

1853        The Great Day of his Wrath, London, Tate

1853        The Plains of Heaven, London, Tate

1853        The Last Judgement, London, Tate

John Martin - Featured Paintings

© Great Works of Western Art 2019