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Satan on the Burning Lake: Martin 1824-25

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  • Title: Satan on the Burning Lake
  • Author: John Martin
  • Date: 1824-25
  • Medium: Mezzotint
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Inches: 11 x 7 3/4 [Image]
  • Centimeters: 27.94 x 19.69 [Image]
  • Product ID: 102207

From The Paradise Lost of John Milton (pub. 1846), Book 1, Line 192

Following their expulsion from Heaven, Satan and his rebellious army fall for nine full days, finally landing atop the burning lake in Hell. This image depicts Satan and his second-in-command, Beelzebub, contemplating their predicament. The corresponding text contains one of Paradise Lost's most famous passages, a description of Satan's physicality which compares his huge stature to that of the mighty Leviathan.

"Thus Satan talking to his neerest Mate
With Head up-lift above the wave, and Eyes
That sparkling blaz'd, his other Parts besides
Prone on the Flood, extended long and large
Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
As whom the Fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove,
Briareos or Typhon, whom the Den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that Sea-beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim th' Ocean stream:
Him haply slumbring on the Norway foam
The Pilot of some small night-founder'd Skiff,
Deeming some Island, oft, as Sea-men tell,
With fixed Anchor in his skaly rind
Moors by his side under the Lee, while Night
Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delayes:
So stretcht out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay
Chain'd on the burning Lake..."
(Paradise Lost I.192-210)