(Enlarged Photo)

John Martin (1789-1844)

The Shepherd

Watercolour. Provenance: Spink & Sons

Martin may be remembered for the huge apocalyptic canvases that made him one of the most popular and oft-reproduced painters of his day, but his work in watercolour can be surprisingly simple and devoid of incident. But even here, in this quietly idyllic landscape – probably painted when he was engaged in the highly unromantic task of surveying the Home Counties for a pet project of improving London’s water supply - there is a marvellous sense of limitless vista.

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