ISBN: 978-1-904794-99-8
Price: £30.00
Format: Hardback
Size: 245mm x 285mm
Extent: 134pp
Illustrations: 56 colour & 23 b/w
Art: History
Artist: Biography

John Martin:
Apocalypse Now!
Barbara C. Morden

John Martin’s paintings of apocalyptic destruction and biblical disaster earned him, in his lifetime (1789-1854), national and international fame and recognition. His body of work, which was startling in scope had a real sense of the dramatic; particularly when depicting the fearsome power of God (the ‘Apocalypse Now!’ of the title).

He is credited with influencing a remarkable range of creative people including the Brontës, Thomas Hardy, Alexandre Dumas and Thomas Cole, founder of American landscape painting.

His concept of the sublime inspired writers like Rider Haggard, Jules Verne, HG Wells and Ralph Waldo Emerson and generations of movie makers from DW Griffiths to Cecil B DeMille and latterly George Lucas. A family man with six surviving children, his home hosted a cross section of London society, including JMW Turner and Charles Dickens.

Largely forgotten after his death in 1854 John Martin’s star is again on the rise. The forthcoming major travelling exhibition will be the first show dedicated to his paintings for over 40 years, and the largest display of his works seen in public since his death.

Barbara Morden’s sumptuously illustrated book captures the essence of the man and how the apocalyptic mood in Britain during his lifetime – a period marked by both terrible hardship and outrageous success – influenced his paintings. She reassesses Martin’s legacy and looks at the enduring influence of his apocalyptic paintings on art, cinema and the popular culture of today.

The Author

Born and educated in Newcastle upon Tyne, Dr Barbara C. Morden is an author, cultural historian and freelance lecturer. As well as writing she delivers papers on literature, art, and learning strategies for the electronic age at conferences in both the UK and USA.

"Barbara Morden’s excellent new book brings John Martin to life – a man whose apocalyptic paints have been such a model and inspiration. John Martin can indeed be called the ‘father’ of modern cinema."
Ray Harryhausen, pioneering special effects creator (Jason & the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans and One Million Years BC).

"What this woman doesn’t know about Sodom and Gomorrah isn’t worth knowing."
The Crack

"A spectacular feast."
Open University