Loutherbourg, Danby, Ward.
The Sublime is a term that has had several meanings over a
period of time. The earlier usage would have been to describe very
This later meaning of the word is the one to which I will
compare Turner and Martin s work. Turner s early work was more
accessible than his later, almost abstract work, however the work
during his later years would possibly be easiest to find the elements
small area along the bottom depicting Hannibles army raping,
murdering and torturing many people. The painting also shows the
other element of the Sublime , mans subordination to nature. The
that no matter how powerful the army may be, nature is always more
showing the blood spilt.
Turner also used the theme of mans subordination to nature
many times, such as in Shipwreck, exh. 1805 in this painting he uses
the layout of the boats, bringing the spectator into the painting, with
a pale sail in an almost monochromatic background and although it
is trying to save the fishermen it is being drawn into the waves, and
is having trouble remaining stable.
Martin however was more interested in the dark emotions than
this was probably due to his strongly religious and moralistic
upbringing. One such example of his portrayal of the Sublime in a
with the figures only tiny and insignificant, this is common in
Martins work, like Turner, yet martin s landscape are always more
fantasy than reality, rather than Turner s love of observational
drawing. This paintings colours are intensely significant, the reds,
of the painting.
The Great day of his wrath, 1851-3 is another powerful
landscape, with the figures, less important than the great expanses
are to symbolise gods power, and the dark emotions are the theme
again as an evil act must take place before such vengeance is taken.
Many of martin s work was reproduced as etchings, these being
and darkness, which is not matched by Turner s work. Martins depth
of religion was put across in his paintings, This Sublime approach
character and portrayal of hell.
The two artists chosen, Turner and Martin exemplify the given
meaning of Sublime each taking preference to different approaches,
Turner creating awesome paintings of mans subordination to nature,
and Martin, and his religious themes being ideal for the dark