Martin, Elias (DNB00)

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MARTIN, ELIAS (1740?–1811), painter, engraver, and associate of the Royal Academy, was born in Sweden about 1740, and came to England about 1766. He appears to have been one of the early students of the Royal Academy, and in 1769 exhibited at the second exhibition, in Pall Mall, two pictures, 'A View of Westminster Bridge, with the King of Denmark's Procession by Water, taken from Mr. Searle's Timter Yard,' and a landscape, and also two drawings, 'A View in Sweden' and 'A Watchman Sleeping.' In 1770 he exhibited 'A Picture of the Royal Plaister Academy,' 'A View of Hanover Square,' and two others. In 1771 he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, and was then residing in Dean Street, Soho. In that year he exhibited 'A View of the King's Palace at Stockholm ' and three landscapes. He continued to exhibit in 1773 and 1774, in which year he removed to Leicester Street, Leicester Fields, and again in 1777, 1779, and 1780. His contributions were varied, comprising landscapes with figures, views of gentlemen's seats, small water-colour or crayon portraits, tasteful and humorous costume or domestic subjects, and engravings from his own designs, in a manner imitating red chalk. In 1776 he exhibited for the only time at the Free Society of Artists. After 1780 he returned to Sweden, where he became court painter to the king of Sweden at Stockholm. He returned to England in 1790, and sent from Bath eight pictures to the Royal Academy. At Stockholm, Martin was considered, or at least considered himself, the first landscape-painter in Sweden. His later works had, however, very little merit. He engraved a number of small domestic subjects from his own designs in stipple or red chalk manner, and also a large family group of himself and his children, entitled 'A Family Concert.' He had two sons, Carolus, a cabinetmaker, and John, an artist. Martin died at Stockholm in 1811.

His brother, John Frederick Martin (1745–1808), engraver, born at Stockholm in 1745, came with him to England, resided with him, made numerous engravings in the red chalk manner from his drawings, and returned with him to Stockholm. There his engravings after Deprez, Skioldebrand, and other native artists were well known. He died at Stockholm in 1808.

[Weinwich's Dansk, Norsk og Svensk Konstner-Lexicon; Acerbi's Travels through Sweden, &c., vol. i. chap. ix.; Sandby's Hist. of the Royal Academy; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

L. C.