JOHN MARTIN Autograph Letter Signed.
English painter, engraver and illustrator.
ALS. 2pp. 30 Allsop Terrace. January 31st 1838. To Dr [James] Copland.
"I beg to call your attention to the advertisements of a Thames Improvement Company having for its object to preserve the sewage and to inform you that I have no connection whatsoever with the parties who are endeavouring to establish a company upon a shameful piracy of one of my plans. As I intend to oppose their proceedings and to expose the treatment I have experienced, I think it necessary previously to acquaint you with the imposition, and to express a hope that you will continue to support that plan for improving the Thames which will have my name attached. I remain, dear Sir, very faithfully yours, John Martin."
8vo bifolium. 18 x 11 cms (7.25 x 4.5 inches). Fine.
John Martin's powerful and dramatic paintings, often fantastical landscapes, were hugely popular and influential in the first half of the 19th century. They inspired the Pre-Raphaelites and other artists, writers and composers. The Brontes had a print of one of his pictures on the parlour wall at Haworth and he has also been cited as a major influence on Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Henry Rider Haggard. John Martin was later to turn his attention to invention and engineering and his great plan for the improvement and cleansing of the Thames was a visionary one that preceded by a quarter of a century the similar plans proposed by Joseph Bezalgette.
Provenance: From a 19th century album compiled by the family of Dr James Copland F.R.S. (1791-1870), the noted Scottish physician and writer on medicine.