Paradise Lost by John Martin

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Paradise Lost by John Martin

Painting NameParadise Lost
Painter NameJohn Martin
Current LocationPrivate collection

The current picture is not a painting. It is a mezzotint engraving, a popular form of art in 17th and 18th century. The technique is still in use but its original form has become limited in use, after the new technologies and publication mediums.

The current engraving is titled as Paradise Lost by John Martin. It was commissioned by Samual Prowett to John Martin fort the John Martin’s epic poem called Paradise Lost.

His romantic depictions were of grand level and scale. It would often include big sceneries covering cities, mountains and lakes with dark themes. The current depiction represents the city of Pandemonium, the capital of hell, as described in the Paradise Lost. The term Pandemonium was also coined by John Milton which literally means “all the demons”. According to the epic poem, the king of hell, Satan, resides in the capital city from where he rules his reign. The depiction represents the buildings of the Pandemonium with darker shade which creates the devious environment the hell would possibly possess.

The angels we see in the foreground, in front of the giant building are the legions of Satan or the fallen angels. The angels who rebelled in heaven and were thrown out came and joined Satan and thus they were called the Fallen Angels.

As we see the grandeur of the poem, the broad nature of its subject and the mythological impact, John Martin is the best artist to represent Milton’s imagination with the same grandeur and impact in visual medium in his painting style of Romanticism.


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