It could be said that 19th-century British painter John Martin’s favorite subject was doom. Over the course of his career, he painted copious depictions of hell, as well as other fiery, end-of-world scenes—and he did it with dramatic panache. Martin based this hellscape on English poet John Milton’s 1667 masterwork Paradise Lost, in which hell is dubbed Pandemonium. Martin’s version of Pandemonium is a deserted, red-hot world of torment helmed by an armored Satan. In the foreground, the devil raises his arms in as he calls unseen rebel angels to action.
This version of hell might have looked sinisterly familiar to Martin’s London contemporaries. In fact, the massive, intimidating building that Satan faces borrows architectural elements from some of the city’s most famous edifices, including the towering gates of Somerset House and the arcade of Carlton House Terrace.
• Paper thickness: 10.3 mil
• Paper weight: 5.6 oz/y² (192 g/m²)
• Giclée printing quality
• Opacity: 94%
• 21×30cm posters are size A4
Original art by: John Martin, 1841