We all know that Northumberland is home to some incredibly talented people, but this isn’t a recent development. The painter and engraver John Martin was born in Haydon Bridge in 1789, before he became an apprentice coachbuilder in Newcastle and then moved onto London in 1806.
Martin’s career as a painter in oils brought him huge popularity with the public, with most of his income coming from selling prints and engravings of his paintings. Some of his most famous works include ‘The Fall of Babylon’ in 1819 and ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ in 1821, and he exhibited works at the Royal Academy and at the British Institution. Martin was principally known for religious paintings and vast landscapes and cityscapes with minute figures. He also achieved fame and success overseas- he was made a member of the Belgian Academy and was created a Knight of the Order of Leopold.
Martin’s influence is still felt in Haydon Bridge today- John Martin Street is named in his honour. I find it fascinating to learn about famous Northumbrians of the past- let me know if your town has any famous sons!