The Milton Paradise Lost Gallery


Martin had first published an illustrated octavo edition of Paradise Lost from 1825-27 with Septimus Prowett, in 12 parts 2 volumes Large 4to (378 x 270 mm).

prowett (43K)

"These images have no counterpart and are the very essence of the sublime in Romantic art. They are without doubt one of the most significant series of British book illustrations ever to have been produced." (Michael J. Campbell et al, John Martin, Visionary Printmaker, Campbell Fine Art/York City Art Gallery, 1992)

The prints in the table below are from a Charles Whittingham edition of 1846 with 24 mezzotint plates by John Martin, 19 labelled "Proof." Apparently, these were from Prowett's over-stock of 1st edition impressions of lettered proofs. The edition here was bound in green morocco, decorated in blind and gilt, gilt and gauffered edges (indented, small repeating patterns) and pink silk linings. The text used here is generally from Samuel Simmons 2nd edition of 1667.

He re-engraved the plates for this and subsequent quarto editions. "The apocalyptic romanticism of his conceptions had many sources: the monumental buildings of London, the engravings of Piranesi, the many recently published volumes of eastern views, even incandescent gas, coalpit accidents, and Brunel's new Thames Tunnel. The resulting illustrations may be heterogeneous, but they are also unforgettable" (Ray English 69)

An excellent source of information on Martin's prints for the various books of 'Paradise Lost' and other illustrator's work can be found at George Klawitter's web site

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