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Martin Richard Fletcher Butlin CBE FBA (born 7 June 1929)[1] is a British art historian, an authority on historic British art and in particular Turner and William Blake.


Butlin was educated at Rendcomb College, Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Courtauld Institute.[1] He was Assistant Keeper 1955–67 and Keeper of the Historic British Collection at the Tate Gallery 1967–89. He was a consultant to Christie's in London from 1989.[2]

Butlin was appointed CBE in the 1990 New Year Honours.[3]


  • William Blake (1757-1827): A Catalogue of the Works of William Blake in the Tate Gallery, 1957, 2nd edition 1971, 3rd edition 1990
  • Samuel Palmer’s Sketchbook of 1824, 1962; 2nd edition Samuel Palmer: the sketchbook of 1824, 2005
  • Turner Watercolours, Barrie & Jenkins, 1962. ISBN 0214157997
  • Turner (with Sir John Rothenstein), Heinemann, 1964
  • The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture (with Mary Chamot and Dennis Farr), Tate Gallery Catalogue, 1964
  • The Later Works of J. M. W. Turner, Tate Gallery little book series, 1965
  • William Blake, Tate Gallery little book series, 1966
  • The Blake-Varley Sketchbook of 1819 in the collection of M.D.E. Clayton-Stamm, Heinemann, 1969
  • The Paintings of J. M. W. Turner (with Evelyn Joll), 1977, 2nd edition 1984 (authors jointly awarded the Mitchell Prize for the History of Art, 1978)
  • William Blake, Tate Gallery, 1978. ISBN 0905005112
  • The Paintings and Drawings of William Blake, Yale University Press, 1981. ISBN 0300025505
  • Aspects of British Painting 1550–1800, from the Collection of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation (exhibition catalogue), 1988
  • Turner at Petworth: Painter and Patron (with Mollie Luther and Ian Warrell), Tate Gallery, 1989
  • William Blake in the Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria (with Ted Gott and Irena Zdanowicz), 1989
  • The Oxford Companion to J. M. W. Turner (ed. with Evelyn Joll and Luke Herrmann), 2001
  • William Blake's Watercolour Inventions in illustration of "The Grave" by Robert Blair (with Morton D. Paley), 2009


  1. ^ a b BUTLIN, Martin Richard Fletcher, Who's Who 2016, A & C Black, 2016 (online edition, Oxford University Press, 2015)
  2. ^ International Who's Who of Authors and Writers 2004 (Psychology Press, 2003), entry 'Butlin, Martin (Richard Fletcher)', page 85
  3. ^ "No. 51981". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1989. p. 7.