The Art of the Sublime

John Martin The Last Judgement 1853

John Martin 'The Last Judgement' 1853
Full screen
John Martin 1789–1854
The Last Judgement 1853
Oil paint on canvas
support: 1968 x 3258 mm; frame: 2400 x 3685 x 175 mm
Bequeathed by Charlotte Frank in memory of her husband Robert Frank 1974
Tate T01927
This picture illustrates the central event of the Book of Revelation. On a throne in the heavens sits Christ in judgement, surrounded by the four and twenty elders. Below on the right the forces of evil, commanded by Satan, are defeated and tumble into a bottomless pit. To the left on Mount Zion are ‘the good’, already in ‘the plains of heaven’ and awaiting the call to appear before the throne. Martin included a high percentage of artists and poets among the good; these were identified (as were many of the evil characters) in a chart which he published to accompany the picture.

How to cite

John Martin, The Last Judgement 1853, in Nigel Llewellyn and Christine Riding (eds.), The Art of the Sublime, January 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/the-sublime/john-martin-the-last-judgement-r1105570, accessed 04 May 2015.