‘Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council’, 1827. Mezzotint engraved by John Martin. 7 x 9 inches. A powerfully dramatic design in which the artist stresses the otherworldliness of Satan and his followers, achieving a fine balance between the conventional iconography of power (redolent of Napoleon as Emperor) and the sheer oddness of placing the dictator in a throne on top of a gigantic globe. As usual, Martin combines crepuscular light with brilliant shafts of illumination, immensity with the infinitely small. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Image capture and text by Simon Cooke. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.


Milton, John. Paradise Lost. With mezzotints by John Martin. Issued in parts 1825–7, and in book form, London: Prowett, 1827.

Created 10 October 2021