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 :. | Leisure Hours | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | A Grecian Lovely | Dolce Far Niente | Endymion |
Related Artists:Mauritz F H Haas
Dutch (Resident in US)
Spanish Sculptor, ca.1480-1542Nils Kreuger
Swedish, 1858-1930,Swedish painter, draughtsman and illustrator. From 1874 he studied at the Konstakademi in Stockholm, where he soon became a friend of Richard Bergh and Karl Nordstrem, both of whom were later prominent exponents of the more advanced Swedish painting of the 1880s and 1890s. After being forced to interrupt his studies because of illness, Kreuger trained from 1878 at the art school of Edvard Perseus (1841-90) in Stockholm before he travelled to Paris, where he stayed for the most part until 1887. He made his d?but at the Paris Salon in 1882, and he also resided in the artists' colony in Grez-sur-Loing. During this period he painted such works as Old Country House (1887; Stockholm, Nmus.) with a free brushwork and sense of light that owed much to Jules Bastien-Lepage. In 1885 Kreuger was active in organizing the Opponenterna, a protest movement led by Ernst Josephson against the conservative establishment of the Konstakademi in Stockholm, and the following year he helped to found the Konstn?rsf?rbund (Artists' Union). Like the majority of the Konstnersferbund's members, Kreuger abandoned the French-inspired plein-air realism of the 1880s for symbolically coloured National Romanticism in the 1890s. For Kreuger this change took place between 1893 and 1896 in Varberg on the west coast of Sweden, where, together with Bergh and Nordstrem, he founded the Varberg Group. Drawing on Paul Gauguin's Synthetism, the group contributed to the formation of the National Romantic style of the 1890s in Sweden. Kreuger's encounter with van Gogh's drawings at an exhibition in Copenhagen in 1893 also played a decisive role in his development. He devised an intensely personal style in which the landscape was composed in large blocks that were then covered by a pattern of directional lines and dots in India ink (somewhat in the manner of van Gogh's late landscape drawings) to bring out the painting's colour values and create an effect of decoratively stylized forms: for example Spring in Halland (1894; Stockholm, Nmus.). Kreuger was also a prolific draughtsman and illustrator.