John Martin, Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion, 1812. 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.