Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council
by John Martin
Genre: religious painting
Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council is part of a series of 48 mezzotint engravings that British artist John Martin created between 1823 and 1827 to illustrate a new edition of Milton's Paradise Lost. It was described by in The Guardian in 2011 as "Satan holding court in what looks like a solo performance in the Albert Hall (decades in advance)". Popular success of John Martin's religious paintings, particularly Belshazzar's Feast (first exhibited at the British Institution in 1821, and published as engravings in 1826), led to a commission in 1823 from London publisher Septimus Prowett for Martin to illustrate a new edition of Milton's Paradise Lost. Martin made mezzotint engravings of 24 subjects in two sizes, 48 plates in all, with large prints measuring 8 by 11 inches and small prints 6 by 8 inches.
The engraving of Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council illustrates the debate among Satan's "Stygian Council" in the council-chamber of Pandæmonium at the beginning of Book II of Paradise Lost. In the engraving, Satan is depicted enthroned at the heart of the hall of his Palace of Pandæmonium, at the centre of a rotunda filled with onlooking throngs of fallen angels, illuminated by the new technology of gaslight. His throne is placed atop a black hemisphere. The composition may be inspired by an illustration in the 1782 edition of William Beckford's novel Vathek. #art#illustration#drawing#draw#envywear#picture#artist#sketch#sketchbook#paper#pen#pencil#artsy#instaart#beautiful#instagood#gallery#masterpiece#creative#photooftheday#instaartist#graphic#graphics#artoftheday#beautiful#abstracto#stayabstract#instaabstract#johnmartin
"Cataclysmic Wax and Protogenic Wane" (Alternate Takes)
Two versions of a similar work.
Features a close up of John Martin's "The Destruction of Tyre," a biblical painting that depicts God's vengeance upon the wealthy Lebanese port town of Tyre for betraying Israel (Ezekiel 26). I'm not a practicing Christian per se, but I do think Christianity is fascinating, and find a lot of value in studying the lessons that it offers.
I came upon this painting years ago when researching the term "cataclysm," meaning "a dashing flood that carries things away." Which version do you prefer: the dark, or the light?
The Land of Ys, or Kêr-Is in Brittany, France, was a mythical city built by King Gradlon. It rose out of the West with towers of ivory and gold. Gardens of roses and lavender, and orchards of pear and plum. .
Legend tells us that one day the King was anxiously watching the sun sink into the sea in a shimmer of copper, as the gates on the high sea wall were locked. Years ago he had fallen in love with a Faery maiden who had bore him a daughter, but unlike him she was a pagan. St Winwaloe warned him about his daughter, but the King was blind to it. Until one day, when a kinght in red armour rode into the palace courtyard. Princess Dahut saw him and ran out to greet him at once. The red knight asked her to leave with him, but it was high tide and the gates were locked. However, Dahut knew that the key rested under her father’s pillow. For the King knew that were the gates to be opened at high tide, the city would be destroyed. Still the princess stole it, and left with the red knight. As they were crossing the causeway, a storm fell over the land, wave after wave surging through the open gates, and on to submerge the city of Ys. It is said that all the people drowned, save for the King who rose on his winged horse Morvarc'h. He rescued his daughter, but the Saint appeared to him once more, and told him to push the devil from behind him. Following his words, his daughter fell into the thrashing waves, where she became a mermaid, or Morgen, a spirit of the depths.
This is a Christianised version of an old tale. If you know the original please let me know :)
Painting: The fall of Babylon; Cyrus the Great defeating the Chaldean, 1831 by John Martin
‘Glenn Brown: Fantasy Landscapes, Portraits and Beasts’ at the @laingartgallery in Newcastle is open until 28 October 2018.
This painting is based on a small black and white etching by #JohnMartin (1789-1854). The collection of figures that are the subject of the original have been removed in order to make the scene other-worldly and without a specific scale. The work is about texture and movement, solidity and translucency, disorientation and spectacle. First, the painting was executed entirely in brown paint, then the stronger, brighter colours were glazed over this ground, not unlike a hand-tinted black-and-white photograph. I wanted the reds to recede into the distance, and the blues and greens come to the forward - quite opposite of a traditional landscape painting. - #GlennBrown , May 2018
‘The Aesthetic Poor (for Tim Buckley) after John Martin’ (2002)
‘The Bard’ by John Martin (1789–1854). Painted around 1817, at the height of the Romantic movement, John Martin’s version of The Bard unites the drama of the Pindaric Ode by Thomas Gray, published in 1757, with a vision of sublime landscape. The Bard stands amid an overwhelming and powerful landscape with ominous clouds, a raging river, and dramatic cliffs evoking the sublime, a combined sense of awe and terror, in the viewer. The Bard’s disproportionate size, particularly in comparison to the advancing troops of Edward I below, makes him seem an element of the landscape, a landmark in his own right. (Yale Center for British Art. Paul Mellon Collection).