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

Manfred and the Alpine Witch

Watercolour, 388 x 558 mm
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

In this painting Martin turned to a literary theme: the poem by Lord Byron in which Manfred is condemned to eternal life without sleep. He calls upon the witch to find peace, but she demands his soul, and so he dismisses her. The drama of the contents is projected onto the natural forms, in a technique that would become a favourite with the Romantic artists as a means of expressing emotion. The practice would continue for decades.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.