John William Godward
Godward was a Victorian Neo-classicist, and therefore a follower in theory of Frederic Leighton. However, he is more closely allied stylistically to 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'. Related Paintings of John William Godward :. | Godward Leaning on the Balcony | In the Tepidarium | The Melody, circa | The Mirror | Study of Campaspe |
Related Artists:August Ahlborn
(October 11, 1796 - August 24, 1857) was a German landscape painter.
Ahlborn was born in Hanover, and studied with Karl Wilhelm Wach in Berlin. He went to Italy in 1827, where he converted to Roman Catholicism, and lived in Florence, Ascoli, and Rome. He painted mainly Italian landscapes, but also some Nordic ones, as well as a few portraits and religious works. He died in Rome in 1857.
Bois-le-Duc ca 1450-1516Joel Pettersson
(June 8, 1892 - January 5, 1937) was a painter and writer on the Åland Islands, Finland. He remained an obscure figure during his lifetime; most of his works were unpublished for decades after his death.
Pettersson was born into poverty in Lemland, Åland. His parents were elderly peasants, Joel's father being well over 50 at the time of Joel's birth. Joel had a younger brother Karl, who died at sea in 1916.
Pettersson began writing and painting in his early school years, though much of his works from this period were not preserved.
In 1913, he had the opportunity to study at a drawing school in Turku. He stayed in Turku until 1915, when he decided to abort his studies and return to Åland. He painted for a few years, but he eventually tired of it and did not paint for many years.
Upon his return, Pettersson became active in the local youth organisation, for which he wrote plays and monologues. He also wrote prose which he read out loud during organisation meetings. Pettersson was most active as a writer following his return from Turku until 1921.
During the 1920s, Pettersson worked mostly on his parents' farm, only sporadically participating in the youth organisation's activities. His parents both died in 1928, leaving Pettersson to care for the farm. He sold all the animals and most of the property. He tried earning a living on his artistry, but was unsuccessful. He then tried raising hens, but this also proved to be an unsuccessful venture. He resumed painting in 1935, and some of his paintings were displayed during an exhibition the following year.
His constant economic difficulties and work load took their toll. In 1936, he suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to Grelsby Asylum, where he remained until his death in early 1937.