Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dungeonspiration: John Martin

One of the guys who I chase with dragons on the weekends turned me on to an artist named John Martin.  Martin was active in the first half of the 19th century.  His paintings are epic.  Not in the way that The Boy uses the word.  Martin's vision was BIG, his scale HUGE, and his topics LEGENDARY. He painted pictures of places where D&D characters should be travelling to.

As well as a painter, Martin was a fencing master, an engraver, and an amateur sewer engineer.  He hung around scientists, engineers, and science fiction writers, played chess, and experimented with mezzotint technology.  Okay, let's cut to the chase.  The dude was a glorious English nerd-boy and geek extraordinaire.

The scenes John Martin painted and engraved just amaze me, and get my mind going at 90 miles an hour.  I want to design D&D adventures to fit these images.  Go chase his stuff down on Google.  I bet you will too.

- Ark


  1. Those are great! That first one is especially awesome. It looks like the dude is conducting a symphony of lightning.

  2. We just had a John Martin retrospective at the Laing Art Gallery here in Newcastle. JM is one of my favourite painters, so, yeah, nerdgasms.

    His The Bard (the last pic in your post) and Destruction of Sodom and Gammorah are on permanent display at the Laing: they are exactly as huge and impressive as you imagine them being; the brushwork is fantastic! Romantic sublime indeed.

  3. Wow. Great shiznit. Very Dante.

  4. Those are awesome! Thanks for pointing him out.

  5. @Aplus - Actually it's Moses, but I imagine it's Gandalf angry. :)

    @Chris - Oh wow! That would be do cool to see up close and personal.

    @Brunomac - Actually, he did engravings for Paradise Lost in 1823, so close. :)

    @David - No problem!

    - Ark

  6. Hi,

    His works are (were?) being exhibited in Sheffield UK at the mo.

    I went see them.

    Some are ******very****** big !!!!