|Method||Mezzotint with etching|
|Published||London. Published May 1st 1835 by John Martin, 30 Allsop Terrace, New Road: Messrs Ackermann & Co. A. Paris, chez M. Victor Morlot, Passage Vivienne, no. 26. Part VIII.|
|Dimensions||Image 188 x 284 mm, Plate 264 x 354 mm, Sheet 295 x 434 mm.|
From part VIII of Illustrations of the Bible.
1 Samuel, Chap. 26, Verses 7, 9, 11, 12.
Martin illustrates the struggle between King Saul and his son-in-law David. After pursuing David, King Saul and his army set up camp on the hill of Hachilah. The illustration shows the moment in which David and Abishai crept into the camp, hovering over the sleeping figure of King Saul. Abishai can be seen to be pulling the King's spear from the ground next to his pillow. Whilst at a first glance, the image may appear to foreshadow danger to the King, the tale later goes on to see King Saul stating that he will never again make an attempt on David's life.
John Martin (1789-1854) was an English painter, illustrator and mezzotint engraver. He achieved huge popular acclaim with his historical landscape paintings which featured melodramatic scenes of apocalyptic events taken from the Bible and other mythological sources. Influenced by the work of J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) as well as Theodore Gericault (1791–1824), Eugene Delacroix (1798–1863) and Paul Delaroche (1797–1856), his paintings are characterised by dramatic lighting and vast architectural settings. Most of his pictures were reproduced in the form of engravings, and book engravings, from which he derived his fortune. Despite his popularity, Martin's work was spurned by the critics, notably John Ruskin, and he was not elected to the Royal Academy. His fame declined rapidly after his death, although three of his best known works of religious art toured Britain and America in the 1870s: The Great Day of his Wrath (1853, Tate, London), The Last Judgment (1853, Tate) and The Plains of Heaven (1851-3, Tate). A great contributor to English landscape painting, Martin was a key influence on Thomas Cole (1801-48), one of the founding members of the Hudson River School.
Campbell 107 ii/ii
Condition: Light scratch to surface left hand side of image, staining from previous mount outside plate mark.