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Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion

Artist
John Martin, English, 1789 - 1854
Date
1812
Material
Oil on canvas
Made in
London, Greater London, England, Europe
Classification
Paintings
Current Location
On View, Gallery 205
Dimensions
72 1/8 x 51 5/8 in. (183.2 x 131.1 cm)
framed: 76 3/4 x 55 11/16 x 2 3/8 in. (194.9 x 141.4 x 6 cm)
Credit Line
Friends Fund
Rights
Public Domain
Object Number
1566:1983
NOTES
The dramatic subject for this painting came from Tales of the Genii, written by James Ridley and published in 1764. Sadak is a Persian nobleman whose wife is abducted by the Sultan. In exchange for her safe return, Sadak undertakes a perilous journey to get a sample of the Waters of Oblivion.

The painting depicts the nobleman clinging to a rock at the bottom of the painting, dedicating the rest of the canvas to the rocky precipices that Sadak must surmount. Rays of light emanate from the upper left, suggesting that Sadak will ultimately obtain his goal.
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