John William Godward
John William Godward's
Oil Paintings

John William Godward Museum
9 August 1861-13 December 1922, was an English painter.

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John William Godward
All the John William Godward's Oil Paintings



Alfred Sisley    Alfred Sisley    Alfred Sisley    Alfred Sisley 



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Alfred Sisley     Alfred Sisley    Alfred Sisley    Alfred Sisley



  Alfred Sisley      Alfred Sisley       Alfred Sisley      Alfred Sisley



Alfred Sisley    Alfred Sisley    Alfred Sisley    Alfred Sisley

John William Godward - His Life and His Works

John William Godward (9 August 1861 - 13 December 1922) was an English painter from the end of the Pre-Raphaelite / Neo-Classicist era. He was a protégé of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema but his style of painting fell out of favour with the arrival of painters like Picasso. He committed suicide at the age of 61 and is said to have written in his suicide note that "the world was not big enough" for him and a Picasso. His already estranged family, who had disapproved of him becoming an artist, were ashamed of his suicide and burned his papers. No photographs of Godward are known to survive. Godward was born in 1861 and lived in Wilton Grove, Wimbledon. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1887. When he moved to Italy with one of his models in 1912, his family broke off all contact with him and even cut his image from family pictures. Godward returned to England in 1919, died in 1922 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, west London. One of his best known paintings is Dolce far Niente (1904), which currently resides in the collection of Andrew Lloyd Webber. As in the case of several other paintings, Godward painted more than one version, in this case an earlier (and less well known) 1897 version. Godward was a Victorian Neo-classicist, and therefore a follower in theory of Frederic Leighton. However, he is more closely allied stylistically to Sir Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, with whom he shared a penchant for the rendering of Classical architecture, in particular, static landscape features constructed from marble. The vast majority of Godward's extant images feature women in Classical dress, posed against these landscape features, though there are some semi-nude and fully nude figures included in his oeuvre (a notable example being In The Tepidarium (1913), a title shared with a controversial Alma-Tadema painting of the same subject that resides in the Lady Lever Art Gallery). The titles reflect Godward's source of inspiration: Classical civilisation, most notably that of Ancient Rome (again a subject binding Godward closely to Alma-Tadema artistically), though Ancient Greece sometimes features, thus providing artistic ties, albeit of a more limited extent, with Leighton. Given that Classical scholarship was more widespread among the potential audience for his paintings during his lifetime than in the present day, meticulous research of detail was important in order to attain a standing as an artist in this genre. Alma-Tadema was, as well as a painter, an archaeologist who attended historical sites and collected artefacts that were later used in his paintings: Godward, too, studied such details as architecture and dress, in order to ensure that his works bore the stamp of authenticity. In addition, Godward painstakingly and meticulously rendered those other important features in his paintings, animal skins (the paintings Noon Day Rest (1910) and A Cool Retreat (1910) contain superb examples of such rendition) and wild flowers (Nerissa (1906), illustrated above, and Summer Flowers (1903) are again excellent examples of this). The appearance of beautiful women in studied poses in so many of Godward's canvases causes many newcomers to his works to categorise him mistakenly as being Pre-Raphaelite, particularly as his palette is often a vibrantly colourful one. However, the choice of subject matter (ancient civilisation versus, for example, Arthurian legend) is more properly that of the Victorian Neoclassicist: however, it is appropriate to comment that in common with numerous painters contemporary with him, Godward was a 'High Victorian Dreamer', producing beautiful images of a world which, it must be said, was idealised and romanticised, and which in the case of both Godward and Alma-Tadema came to be criticised as a world-view of 'Victorians in togas'. List of works by the artist A Classical Beauty, 1909 A Classical Lady, 1908 A Cool Retreat, 1910 A Fond farewell, 1918 A Grecian Girl, 1908 A Grecian Lovely, c. 1909 A Greek Beauty, 1905 A Lily Pond, 1917 A Melody, 1904 A Pompeian Lady, 1891 A Priestess, 1893 (nude) A Priestess, 1894 A Red, Red Rose, 1920 A Roman Matron, 1905 A Tryst, 1912 Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder, 1912 Amaryllis, 1903 An Italian Girl's Head, 1902 An Offering To Venus, 1912 Ancient Pastimes, 1916 At The Garden Door, 1901 At The Garden Shrine, Pompeii, 1892 At The Gate Of The Temple, 1898 At The Thermae, 1909 (semi nude) Athenais, 1890 By The Blue Ionian Sea, 1916 By The Wayside, 1912 Campaspe, 1896 (nude) Chloris, 1901 Classical Beauty, 1892 Contemplation, 1922 Dolce Far Niente, 1897 Dolce Far Niente, 1904 Drusilla, 1906 Far Away Thoughts (landscape format), 1892 Far Away Thoughts (portrait format), 1892 Flabellifera, 1905 Flowers Of Venus, 1890 Girl In Yellow Drapery, 1901 Golden Hours, 1913 Grape Vines (date required) He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, 1896 His Birthday Gift, 1889 Ianthe, 1889 Idle Hours, 1901 Idle thoughts, 1898 Idleness, 1900 In Realms Of Fancy, 1911 In The Days Of Sappho, 1904 In The Prime Of The Summer Time, 1915 In The Tepidarium, 1913 (nude) Innocent Amusement, 1891 Ionian Dancing Girl, 1902 Ismenia, 1908 La Pensierosa, 1913 Le Billet Doux, 1913 Leaning On The Balcony, 1892 Lesbia With Her Sparrow, 1916 Mischief, 1905 Mischief And Repose, 1895 Nerissa, 1906 Noon Day Rest, 1910 Nu Sur La Plage, 1922 (an exception to all other works, this is a 'modern' nude) On The Balcony, 1898 On The Balcony, 1911 Ophelia (date required) Reflections, 1893 Reverie, 1910 Reverie, 1912 Sabinella, 1912 Sappho, 1910 Summer Flowers, 1903 Sweet Dreams, 1901 Sweet Sounds, 1918 The Belvedere, 1913 The Betrothed, 1892 The Bouquet, 1899 The Delphic Oracle, 1899 The Favourite, 1901 The Fruit Vendor, 1917 The Jewel Casket, 1900 The Love Letter, 1907 The Mirror, 1899 The Muse Erato At Her Lyre, 1895 The Necklace, 1914 The New Perfume, 1914 The Old, Old Story, 1903 The Peacock Fan, 1912 The Playground, 1892 The Rendezvous, 1903 The Ring, 1898 The Seamstress, 1901 The Signal, 1899 The Tambourine Girl, 1906 (first version - girl facing the viewer) The Tambourine Girl, 1906 (second version - girl reclining against wall) The Toilet, 1900 Tigerskin (date required) Time To Play (date required) Tranquility, 1914 Tympanistria, 1909 Under The Blossom That Hangs On The Bough, 1917 Venus At The Bath, 1901 (nude) Venus Binding Her Hair, by 1897 (nude) Waiting For An Answer, 1889 With Violets Wreathed And Robe Of Saffron Hue, 1892 Yes Or No, 1893 Youth And Time, 1901

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