John Martin's fire-and-brimstone canvases have long wowed visitors to Tate Britain. His epic landscapes make an astonishing contrast with the gentle Gainsboroughs of neighbouring rooms. The 19th Century artist specialised in scenes of devastation, from the Bible's Hollywood moments to scenes of Greek peril (pre-debt crisis).
The first John Martin exhibition for three decades opens at Tate Britain this week (21 September) with a lot of pent-up energy. Fans of smiting will be in their element (fire), with copious depictions of fury, doom and damnation dotted around the exhibition's nine rooms. The show explores the painter's influence on other artists, including the works of HP Lovecraft, Roland Emmerich, Alan Moore and George Lucas.
The gallery are hyping up the fire and destruction to such an extent that they've even put together a cinematic trailer:
It's hard to see that trick working for Gainsborough.
John Martin: Apocalypse runs from 21 September until its own apocalypse on 15 January. Tickets are £14 (full price) or £12 (concessions).