Jun 11, 2015
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“The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum” by John Martin

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“The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum” by John Martin, 1822, restored 2011. Oil on canvas, 161.6 × 253 cm. Tate Gallery.

Tates’ caption by Martin Myrone:

John Martin’s large, vividly coloured and detailed oil painting imagines the extent of the disaster that famously beset the sister cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum when the volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted on 24 August AD 79. Taking as its vantage point the shores of the town of Stabiae, on the opposite side of the Bay of Naples, the picture shows a multitude of fleeing survivors struggling on to dry land. Herculaneum is in the distance to the left, smothered with lava.

Further reading
William Feaver, The Art of John Martin, Oxford 1975, pp.55–9.
Paul P. Costeloe, William Bullock Connoisseur and Virtuoso of the Egyptian Hall: Piccadilly to Mexico, Bristol 2008.
Martin Myrone (ed.), John Martin: Apocalypse, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London 2012, pp.109–15.

guardian.co.uk tate.org

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1 CE to Present · Majesty at The End · Painting

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