Martineau's most celebrated work, The Last Day in the Old Home (1862; London, Tate), a critical success when exhibited at the International Exhibition in London in 1862, reflects the Pre-Raphaelite interest in moralising modern-life subjects, with its depiction of a family forced to leave its home because of the gambling debts of the father. Martineau exhibited 11 small-scale works at the Royal Academy between 1852 and 1867. These included portraits and genre scenes with one or two figures, and literary subjects. At the time of his death, Martineau was working on a large canvas with a historical theme, Christians and Christians (unfinished; Liverpool, Walker A.G.). Martineau's patrons included Edward Mudie of Mudie's circulating library; James Leathart; Kirkman Hodgson, the Governor of the Bank of England; and Holman Hunt's patron Sir Thomas Fairbairn.
P. Gurland: Robert Braithwaite Martineau's ‘The Last Day in the Old Home' (MA thesis, Courtauld Inst., U. London, 1986) [contains full bibliog.]
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