In 1849 the Illustrated London News published an exhibition review discussing the life and work of the hugely popular painter of apocalyptic landscapes, John Martin (1789 ¿1854). This, the artist claimed, was so unfortunate a tissue of errors from beginning to end that he felt compelled to write his own account, in order that it might supersede the unauthorised sketches of my life which have hitherto appeared.
That account, the fullest autobiographical statement by the artist, is reprinted here in full, with an introduction and explanatory notes by Martin Myrone. This key document offers a fascinating insight into Martin's extraordinary career and the fraught politics of a rapidly transforming art world.
Martin Myrone is Curator (18th- and 19th- century British Art) at Tate and the author of The Blake Book.
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