19.10.11

Heaven & Hell; Clytie.

John Martin, Clytie, 1814.

I first saw this painting by John Martin over the summer, at the Laing Gallery.
I visited several times before the exhibition ended in June.

I love this painting for many reasons - but I think the epic scale, combined with the solitude and smallness of the lovelorn lady, are what makes it a particularly striking scene.

The exhibition was entitled Heaven and Hell. While the colours and use of light would suggest this painting to lean towards the Heaven side, the sad story of unrequited love which it depicts made me feel that it was the only work in the exhibition which bridged the binary, showing a side of Hell, too.


Image Source.

2 comments:

dianne tanner said...

Was this at the Tate at some point? I remember seeing posters for it and wanting to go.

Rachel Louisa. said...

I'm not sure if Heaven & Hell was at the Tate, but I know that a John Martin exhibition opened at Tate Britain last month. It's called Apocalpyse, and also looks amazing:


http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/johnmartin/default.shtm


Part of the reason there was such a big exhibition of his work at the Laing is because he was born in the North East. A very interesting artist.