John Martin, an English painter, born at Ilayden Bridge, Northumberland, July 19, 1789, died in Douglas, Isle of Man, Feb. 9, 1854. He was apprenticed to a coach maker to learn heraldic painting, and subsequently to an Italian artist named Musso, whom he accompanied in 1806 to London. He supported himself for several years by painting on china and glass, and teaching. In 1812 he produced, after a months labor, "Sadak in Search of the 'Waters of Oblivion," which was exhibited in the royal academy and sold for 50 guineas. It was followed by the "Expulsion from Paradise" (1813), "Clitie" (1814), and "Joshua commanding the Sun to stand still" (1815). The last received the prize of the year at the British institution. In the following years he produced the "Fall of Babylon" (1819), "Macbeth" (1820), "Belshazzar's Feast" (1821), which obtained the premium of £200 from the British institution. "The Destruction of Elereulaneum" (1822), "The Seventh Plague" (1823), -The Creation" (1824), "The Deluge" (1826), and -The Fall of Nineveh" (1828). Mezzotint engravings of these works, executed by the- artist and disseminated by many thousands, added to their reputation, and have still a considerable degree of popularity.
Martin subsequently for several years devoted himself to designing and engraving a set of illustrations for Milton, for which he received 2,000 guineas, and to projects for improving the city of London. About 1838 he resumed his pencil, and worked industriously until a few weeks before his death. His last productions, three large pictures, intended to be his masterpieces, and entitled " The Last Judgment," "The Day of Wrath," and "The Plains of Heaven," were, though left unfinished, exhibited in the United States in 1856.