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Overview

In this epic, densely populated work, John Martin depicts the biblical battle at Gibeon, part of the conquest of Canaan. Joshua, as leader of the Israelites, asks God to cause the moon and the sun to stand still so that he and his army might continue fighting by daylight. God further assists Joshua by calling up a powerful storm to bombard the Canaanites with rain and hailstones. Following this battle, Joshua led the Israelites to several more victories, ultimately conquering much of Canaan. Martin combines the genres of history and landscape painting in this work by giving equal compositional space and artistic attention to both the human narrative and the dramatic natural surroundings.

Inscription

lower right: J. Martin

Provenance

Purchased 1822 by William Collins. Thomas Wilson, until 1848. John Naylor, until 1889; John M. Naylor; (his sale, Leighton Hall, Welshpool, 23 January 1923, no. 41). Anonymous gift 1924 to the United Grand Lodge of England; purchased 28 May 2004 through (Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd.) by NGA.



Exhibition History
1816
The Exhibition of the Royal Academy. The Forty-Eighth, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1816, no. 347.
1817
[Annual Exhibition], British Institution, London, 1817, no. 152.
1822
John Martin's One Man Show, Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, London, 1822.
1854
Pictures Exhibited at a Soirée given by John Buck Lloyd, Mayor of Liverpool, at the Town Hall, Liverpool, 1854, no. 28.
1862
International Exhibition (Fine Art Department), London, 1862, no. 249.
1970
John Martin 1789-1854, Artist - Reformer - Engineer, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1970, no. 6, pl. 3.
1973
Landscape in Britain c. 1750-1850, Tate Gallery, London, 1973, no. 276, repro.
1975
John Martin 1789-1854. Loan Exhibition, Oil Paintings - Watercolours - Prints, Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, London, 1975, no. 9, pl. 9.
2011
John Martin: Apocalypse, Tate Britain, London, 2011-2012, no. 26, repro.
Bibliography
1854
Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Treasures of Art in Great Britain: Being an Account of the Chief Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Illuminated Mss.. 3 vols. Translated by Elizabeth Rigby Eastlake. London, 1854: 3:242.
1923
Pendred, Mary L. John Martin, Painter: His Life and Times. London, 1923: 62-64, 76, 78, 269, 294, pl. facing 62.
1946
Todd, Ruthven. "The Imagination of John Martin." In Tracks in the Snow: Studies in English Science and Art. New York, 1946: 109.
1947
Balston, Thomas. John Martin, 1789-1854. His Life and Works. London, 1947.
1954
Balston, Thomas. "John Martin: New Discoveries." The Burlington Magazine 96, no. 620 (November 1954): 350, 351, pl. 21.
1969
Maas, Jeremy. Victorian Painters. London, 1969: 34.
1972
Gaunt, William. The Restless Century: Painting in Britain 1800-1900. London, 1972: pl. 21.
1973
Parris, Leslie. Landscape in Britain c. 1750-1850. London, 1973: no. 276, repro.
1974
Johnstone, Christopher. John Martin. London and New York, 1974: 14, 46, pl. 46.
1975
Bird, Alan. "The Romantics." In The Genius of British Painting. Ed. David Piper. London, 1975: 218.
1975
Feaver, William. The Art of John Martin. Oxford, 1975: 6, 25-28, 32, 54-56, 58, 72, 172, 207, 218 notes 9 and 10, 219 notes 12 and 23, 222 notes 2 and 3, 224 note 97, 232 note 79, pl. 11.
1975
Morris, Edward. "John Naylor and other Collectors of Modern Paintings in 19th Century Britain." Annual Report and Bulletin of the Walker Art Gallery 5 (1975).