John Martin: Religious Art at its Best

John Martin was a 19th century English painter who gained fame through his dramatic paintings of biblical events. Born on the 19th of July 1789, John Martin was originally apprenticed to be a heraldic painter for coaches (One who paints coats of arms on the horse drawn carriages of the rich), his apprenticeship was soon cancelled and he moved to London under the tutorship of the Italian painter Bonifacio Musso where he earned his living teaching drawing and painting watercolours and on china and glass. He sold his first major painting, Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion (see below) in 1812 at the age of 23 which has since been hailed as "The most famous of the British romantic works...;"; following his success he painted (and printed) many more works - as well as notably being commissioned by a publisher to illustrate John Milton's Paradise Lost in 1823 - until, on the 17th of February 1854 he died at 64 years old - while painting - having suffered an attack of paralysis.

Below is a collection of his best and most famous religious works:

1812: Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion

1820: Belshazzar's Feast

1823: The Seventh Plague

1824: Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council

1824: Creation of Light

1824: The Bridge Over Chaos

1824: Satan on the Burning Lake

1824: Christ Tempted in the Wilderness

1825: With the Approach of the Archangel Raphael

1825: Fall of the Rebel Angels

1825: Pandemonium

1826: The Angels Guarding Paradise at Night

1826: Paradise – Adam and Eve - The Morning Hymn

1828: The Evening of the Deluge

1831: The Fall of Babylon

1831: The Fall of Babylon

1831: Pandemonium

1834: The Deluge

1840: The Eve of the Deluge

1841: Fallen Angels in Hell

1849: The Last Man

1852: The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

1853: The Great Day of His Wrath

1853: The Last Judgement

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Comments 4 comments

Pacal Votan 7 years ago

Beautiful paintings. I like the Pandemonium best.


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Sasha S 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

The Pandemonium one always makes me think of the British houses of parliament (Big ben etc) in a nuclear apocalypse! I love the 2nd of the 'Fall of Babylon' ones just for the ridiculous amount of detail (click on it) - especially as it was an engraving not a painting!


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tantrum 7 years ago from Tropic of Capricorn

Wow !! I didn't know this painter . He's great ! thank you so much! It's never late to learn something new :)


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Appletreedeals 7 years ago from Salisbury, Maryland USA

Good paintings, but dark. Wonder what he was thinking

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