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 :. | Idle Thoughts | A Classical Beauty | Drusilla | In the Tepidarium | The Peacock Fan |
Related Artists:Oscar Bluemner
German-born American Painter, 1867-1938,was a German-born American Modernist painter. He was born in Hanover, Germany. He moved to Chicago in 1893 where he freelanced as a draftsman. He relocated to New York in 1901. In 1910 he met Alfred Stieglitz, who introduced him to the artistic innovations of the European and American avant-garde. Then in 1915 Stieglitz gave him a solo exhibition at his gallery, 291.Pierre Auguste Pichon
English-born American, 1829-1901
American painter of marine and historical subjects, b. England. He came to the United States with his family in 1844. In 1899 he completed a series of 13 paintings illustrating epochs in the maritime history of America from the landing of Leif Ericsson to the return of Admiral Dewey's fleet from the Philippines in 1899 (Pennsylvania Mus. of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia). His brother Thomas Moran, 1837?C1926, was an American landscape painter, illustrator, and etcher. He accompanied the exploring expeditions of Professor F. V. Hayden to the Yellowstone River (1871) and of Major J. W. Powell down the Colorado River (1873). Subsequently, he made the illustrations on wood for both expeditions' reports and the sketches from which he painted the two large canvases now in the Capitol at Washington, D.C., The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Chasm of the Colorado. In 1884 he became a member of the National Academy of Design. As a painter Moran was strongly influenced by the art of Turner. Other examples of his painting are Bringing Home the Cattle (Buffalo, N.Y., Mus.); The Grand Canal, Venice; The Dream of the Orient; and Tower of Cortez, in Mexico, a watercolor. He also produced many etchings and magazine illustrations on wood.