John MartinThe Great Day of His Wrath 1851-3

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Artwork details

John Martin (1789‑1854)
The Great Day of His Wrath
Date 1851-3
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 1965 x 3032 mm frame: 2400 x 3470 x 175 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1945
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1840


This is the third picture in Martin's great triptych, known as the Judgement Series. Along with the other two vast panels, The Last Judgement and The Plains of Heaven (Tate T01927 and T01928), it was inspired by St John the Divine's fantastic account of the Last Judgement given in Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. Martin's aim in producing this series was highly Romantic: to express the sublime, apocalyptic force of nature and the helplessness of man to combat God's will. Of all Martin's biblical scenes, this presents his most cataclysmic vision of destruction, featuring an entire city being torn up and thrown into the abyss.

The Book of Judgement is sealed with seven seals… (read more)

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