Many of Martin’s paintings were engraved on steel by copyists and sold as prints. A good example is The Last Judgement. But Martin also produced graphic art as original illustrations and series of illustrations.... all of Martin’s works are linked by his fascination with change, destruction and suffering, of epic struggles enacted within a turbulent landscape that is animated by the workings of emotion or by the dictatorial impulse of a severe and unforgiving God. Shifting seamlessly from painting to illustration, Martin was a troubled, troubling, pessimistic visionary who, if limited in scope, was at least single-minded. — Simon Cooke



Related Material


Illustrations of the Bible. Published by Martin in parts in 1831–35 and republished by Tilt in 1838.

Hawkins, Thomas. The Book of the Great Sea-Dragons. With a frontispiece by John Martin. London: Pickering, 1840.

Hawkins, Thomas. The Wars of Jehovah in Heaven, Earth, and Hell. With a frontispiece by John Martin. London: Francis Baisler, 1844.

Mantell, Gideon. The Wonders of Geology. With a frontispiece by John Martin. 2 Vols. London: Relfe & Fletcher, 1838.

Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Illustrated by John Martin. London: Prowett, 1825–27. Issued in 12 parts and then published in 2 Vols.


Campbell, Michael J. John Martin: Visionary Printmaker. York: York City Art Gallery, 1992.

Feaver, William. The Art of John Martin. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1975.

Hodnett, Edward. Image and Text: Studies in the Illustration of English Literature. Aldershot: Scolar, 1982.

Maas, Jeremy. Victorian Painters. London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1978.

Myron, Michael. John Martin. London: Tate Enterprise, 2013.

'Paradise Lost'.The Globe (19 March 1827): 1.

Ray, Gordon N. The Illustrator and the Book in England from 1790 to 1914. New York: The Pierpont Library, 1976.

Riding, Christine and Llewellyn, Nigel. ‘British Art and the Sublime.’ Tate Research Publication (January 2013). [On-line edition].

Sherry, Beverley. ‘John Martin’s Apocalyptic Illustrations to Paradise Lost.’ Milton and the Ends of Time. Ed. Juliet Cummins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 123–143.

Created 11 October 2021