5 MAY 1855, Page 18

PICTURES BY MARTIN. - - Three Apocalyptic pictures by Martin,

of the large dimensions of 13 feet by 9 each, were to be seen this week at the Hall of Commerce in Threadneedle Street. They represent "The Last Judgment," "The Great Day of His Wrath," and- "The Plains of Heaven." We believe that they occupied, at intervals, the last sixteen years of the painter's life. In general execution they excel most of his latter works ; display- ing, in portion; his beat qualities, and only partially his worst. It were useless to attempt any description of the works ; the -name of Martin, and the general knowledge of his grandiose conceptions, combined with the titles of the subjects, will supply sufficient notion of their general charam ter. It may be more to the purpose to observe that such subjects cannot be represented at all in the manner attempted here—namely, in an ap- proach to what the stupendous facts may he imagined actually' to look like. To give us a city tumbled topsyturvy, with flames, light- flings, armies multitudes, and blackness, and call it "The Great Day of His Wrath," only excites, in a mind cultivated to the proper point, a sense possibly of the artist's genius, but certainly of utter inefficiency in the result. The nearest approach to such subjects that can fitly be tolerated is a rigidly, representative treatment ; where, without any attempt at naturalistic rendering of general effects, a figure or a group may be made to stand .for a multitude or a principle. Oreagna's Judgment and Van Eyck's Adoration of the Lamb belong to this class. Still better is a perfectly symbolic treatment, where the ac- tual event is not even approximated, but only alluded to ; and the more arbitrary the more effective, so long as the symbol does not pass into total and unemphatic abstraction.