Paradise Lost, Illustrations

From The Early Modern Web at Oxford. First edition:

The Paradise Lost of Milton, with illustrations, designed and engraved by John Martin (London: Septimus Prowett, 1827). © The Paul F. Betz Collection.

John Martin (1789-1854) was trained at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, first as a coach painter, then as a decorator of china. He moved to London in 1806, and gained a reputation as a painter of Old Testament scenes, such as "Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still" (1817) and "Belshazzar's Feast" (1821), and similar topics emphasizing the dramatic and the sublime. He also exhibited in France where he had a considerable influence. His engravings were an important influence on the Brontė sisters and their brother Branwell in childhood. The following selection of steel engravings are from Martin's two-volume illustrated edition of Paradise Lost (1827).

Illustrations are approximately 14 x 20 cm.

Book I.44                       Him the Almighty Power
Hurled headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky
With hideous ruin and combustion down
To bottomless perdition
Book I.710 Anon out of the earth a fabric huge
Rose like an exhalation, with the sound
Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet,
Built like a temple, where pilasters round
Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
With golden architrave
Book IV.453 "Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound
Of waters issued from a cave and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmoved
Pure as th' expanse of heav'n; I thither went"
Book IV.502                               Aside the Devil turned
For envy, yet with jealous leer malign
Eyed them askance, and to himself thus plained:
"Sight hateful, sight tormenting! . . ."

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Document prepared February 11th 2007