The Last Man

WAG 2680


This apocalyptic vision, inspired by Thomas Campbell’s poem of 1823 describing a future world in which only one human being is left alive, shows a deserted city divided from the rocks to the right by a sea inlet. Gesturing across the stormy scene is an old man with the bodies of a woman and child at his feet. Typically Martin appeals to the viewer’s emotions, seeking to instil a sense of awe and terror through the scale and desolation of the picture. He developed this theme in his very popular ‘Last Judgement’ series (1852-1853), based on the book of Revelation.