1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Martin, John

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MARTIN, JOHN (1789–1854), English painter, was born at Haydon Bridge, near Hexham, on the 19th of July 1789. He was apprenticed by his father to a coach builder to learn heraldic painting, but owing to a quarrel the indentures were cancelled, and he was placed under Bonifacio Musso, an Italian artist, father of the enamel painter Charles Musso. With his master Martin removed to London in 1806, where he married at the age of nineteen, and supported himself by giving drawing lessons, and by painting in water colours, and on china and glass. His leisure was occupied in thestudy of perspective and architecture. His first picture, “Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion,” was exhibited in the Royal Academy of 1812, and sold for fifty guineas. It was followed by the “Expulsion” (1813), “Paradise” (1813), “Clytie” (1814), and “Joshua” (1815). In 1821 appeared his “Belshazzar’s Feast,” which excited much favourable and hostile comment, and was awarded a prize of £200 at the British Institution, where the Joshua had previously carried off a premium of £100. Then came the “Destruction of Herculaneum” (1822), the “Creation” (1824), the “Eve of the Deluge” (1841), and a series of other Biblical and imaginative subjects. In 1832–1833 Martin received £2000 for drawing and engraving a fine series of designs to Milton, and with Westall he produced a set of Bible illustrations. He was also occupied with schemes for the improvement of London, and published various pamphlets and plans dealing with the metropolitan water supply, sewage, dock and railway systems. During the last four years of his life he was engaged upon his large subjects of “The Judgment,” the “Day of Wrath,” and the “Plains of Heaven.” He was attacked with paralysis while painting, and died in the Isle of Man on the 17th of February 1854.