John Martin, by William Brockedon (pencil and chalk, 1826, cropped here),
© National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 2515(13),
reproduced by kind permission.

“Martin could not be judged by Ruskinian standards of truth to nature and could not be accepted by anyone under Ruskin’s influence, neither could he be taken seriously by the painters of modern life or any of the Classic Revivalists. He was subsequently quite unacceptable to the protagonists of the Aesthetic Movement, and out of tune with the fin de siècle, which explains why, when his reputation died in the early 1870s, he was forgotten for about seventy years, until he could be reviewed with the twentieth century understanding of surrealism and disregard for high moral purpose.” — Hilary Beck, p. 28.



Beck, Hilary. Victorian Engravings. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1973.

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

Last modified 11 October 2021 (image added)