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 :. | quiet pet | Flabellifera | Lesbia with her Sparrow | Old Old Story | Idle Thoughts |
Related Artists:August Strindberg
Swedish painter, sculptor and playwright. He had no art training, but learnt from artist friends after abandoning his studies at the University of Uppsala in 1872. The chief influence on him was Per Ekström, whose broken colour-spot technique he attempted to copy during his initial painting period in 1872-4 in Stockholm and on the skerry-islands Kymmendö and Sandhamn. Very little of Strindberg's early painting survives, but he had already found his special motifs: the sea, usually with turbulent waves; solitary trees or flowers on bare cliffs or sandy beaches in the outermost fringe of the skerries. After he stopped painting in 1874 he became Sweden's leading art critic, as well as the ideological leader of the radical Swedish artists' movement, which in 1884 formed the Konstnärsförbund (the Artists' Association) in protest against the Academy of Art. Prominent among the members were the painters Carl Olof Larsson, Karl Nordström and Richard Bergh. During this period, however, he produced sketches in words and pictures as illustrations to his own writings, which Carl Larsson was commissioned to do thereafter. From 1883 he stayed abroad, primarily in France and Switzerland, and belonged during a couple of long periods to the Scandinavian artists' colony in Grez-sur-Loing, near Fontainebleau in France. In 1886 in Switzerland he started photography and took a series of self-portraits that were intended for publicationMIGNON, Abraham
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1640-1679
Dutch painter, was born at Frankfurt. His father, a merchant, placed him under the still-life painter Jacob Marrel, by whom he was taken to the Netherlands about 1660. He then worked under Jan Davidszoon de Heem at Utrecht, where in 1675 he married the daughter of the painter Cornelis Willaerts. Sibylle Merian (1647-1717), daughter of the engraver Matthew Merian, became his pupil and achieved distinction as a flower painter. He died at Utrecht. Mignon devoted himself almost exclusively to flowers, fruit, birds and other still-life, though at times he also attempted portraiture. His flower pieces are marked by careful finish and delicate handling. His favourite scheme was to introduce red or white roses in the centre of the canvas and to set the whole group of flowers against a dark background. Nowhere can his work be seen to better advantage than at the Dresden Gallery, which contains fifteen of his paintings, twelve of which are signed. Six of his pictures are at the Louvre, four at the Hermitage, and other examples are to be found at the museums of Amsterdam, Hoogstraten, Samuel Dircksz van
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1627-1678