John Martin (1789-1854), the British Romantic artist was famous for his striking apocalyptic oil paintings, Martin also illustrated books, working mainly in the technically demanding medium mezzotint. In 1823, Prowett commissioned 24 large plates (280 x 190 mm) by Martin for a new edition of Paradise Lost; the publisher later commissioned an additional set of smaller plates (200 x 150 mm). As a result, the 1827 Paradise Lost appeared in four distinct formats: folio or quarto with the large plates, and quarto or octavo with the smaller plates. Milton Ray describes Martin’s edition of Paradise Lost as “one of the great publishing enterprises of the age … The apocalyptic romanticism of his conceptions had many sources: the monumental buildings of London, the engravings of Piranesi, the many recently published volumes of eastern views, even incandescent gas, coalpit accidents, and Brunel’s new Thames Tunnel. The resulting illustrations may be heterogeneous, but they are also unforgettable.” (The Illustrator and the Book in England, p. 69).