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John Martin’s final exhibited paintings, in 1852, were an oil painting and two water colours, forming a trilogy, the ‘Judgement’ pictures, comprising ‘The Last Judgement’, ‘The Great Day of his Wrath’ and ‘The Plains of Heaven’.
On November 12th 1854, he suffered a paralytic seizure while painting, causing him to lose his sight and the use of his right hand. Before long, he had lost the use of all his limbs and was struggling to eat. He died on February 17th 1854, and was buried in a private vault at Kirk Bradden Cemetery in Douglas, Isle of Man.
John Martin had earlier written to Haydon Bridge Parish Council offering a collection of his works to form the basis of an art gallery. There was no reply for several years until the new Parish Clerk came across the letter and wrote to accept. The letter was delivered on the day John Martin died.