(b. 1789, Haydon Bridge, d. 1854, Douglas, Isle of Man)

The Bard

c. 1817
Oil on canvas, 127 x 102 cm
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven

During the Napoleonic threat a number of British painters had taken up the theme of the suppression of the Celtic Welsh by the English King Edward III, epitomized by the destruction of the ancient bards. Martin's vision of a lone bard driven to a rocky wasteland by the invading army comes close to an apocalyptic Romantic conception, the 'last man'.