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
Classical Beauty
mk221 1906 Oil on canvas 40.6x30.5cm
ID: 51793

John William Godward Classical Beauty
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John William Godward Classical Beauty


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John William Godward

English 1861-1922 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 :. | Yes or No | Le Billet Doux (The Love Letter) | Mischief | La Pensierosa | Blossoming Red Almond |
Related Artists:
Oliver Dennett Grover
American, 1861-1927
Adriaen Pietersz Vande Venne
Dutch 1589-1662
Catharina Van Hemessen
1528-after1587 was a Flemish Renaissance painter. She is the earliest female Flemish painter for whom there is verifiable extant work. As with many Renaissance female painters, she was the daughter of a painter, Jan Sanders van Hemessen (c. 1500-after 1563), who was likely her teacher. She went on to create portraits of wealthy men and women often posed against a dark background. Included in her body of work is a self-portrait done in Basel. She has inscribed the painting with the year, 1548, and her age, 20 years. Her success is marked by her good standing in the Guild of St. Luke and her eventual position as teacher to three male students. Van Hemessen gained an important patron in the 1540s, Maria of Austria, who served as regent of the Low Countries for her brother Charles V. In 1554, she married Christian (or Christien) de Morien, an organist at the Antwerp Cathedral, which was at that time an important post. In 1556, when Maria resigned her post and returned to Spain, Caterina and her husband also moved, on invitation of her patron, to Spain. And two years later, when Maria died, Caterina was given a sizeable pension for life. Caterina and her husband returned to Antwerp. She was mentioned in Guicciardini's Description of the Low Countries of 1567 as one of the living women artists. She died after 1587. She mainly created portraits characterized by realism. The sitters, often seated, were usually seen against a dark or neutral ground. This type of framing and setting made for an intimate portrait. There are no extant works from after 1554, which has led some historians to believe her artistic career might have ended after her marriage. Van Hemessen is often given the distinction of creating the first self-portrait of an artist, of either gender, depicted seated at an easel.






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