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 :. | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii | A Priestess | At the Thermae | Youth and Time | Classical Beauty |
Related Artists:Jean Baptiste Greuze
Jean Baptiste Greuze Galleries
French painter and draughtsman. He was named an associate member of the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Paris, in 1755 on the strength of a group of paintings that included genre scenes, portraits and studies of expressive heads (t?tes d'expression). These remained the essential subjects of his art for the next 50 years, except for a brief, concentrated and unsuccessful experiment with history painting in the late 1760s, which was to affect his later genre painting deeply. Though his art has often been compared with that of Jean-Simeon Chardin in particular and interpreted within the context of NEO-CLASSICISM in general, it stands so strikingly apart from the currents of its time that Greuze's accomplishments are best described, as they often were by the artist's contemporaries, as unique. He was greatly admired by connoisseurs, critics and the general public throughout most of his life. His pictures were in the collections of such noted connoisseurs as Ange-Laurent de La Live de Jully, Claude-Henri Watelet and Etienne-Francois, Duc de Choiseul. For a long period he was in particular favour with the critic Denis Diderot, who wrote about him in the Salon reviews that he published in Melchior Grimm's privately circulated Correspondance litteraire. His reputation declined towards the end of his life and through the early part of the 19th century, to be revived after 1850, when 18th-century painting returned to favour, by such critics as Th?ophile Thore, Arsene Houssaye and, most notably, Edmond and Jules de Goncourt in their book L'Art du dix-huiti?me siecle. By the end of the century Greuze's work, especially his many variations on the Head of a Girl, fetched record prices, and his Broken Pitcher (Paris, Louvre) was one of the most popular paintings in the Louvre. The advent of modernism in the early decades of the 20th century totally obliterated Greuze's reputation. It was only in the 1970s, with Brookner's monograph, Munhall's first comprehensive exhibition of the artist's work, increased sale prices, important museum acquisitions and fresh analyses of his art by young historians, that Greuze began to regain the important place that he merits in the history of French art of the 18th century.PITTONI, Giambattista
Italian Rococo Era Painter, 1687-1767
Italian painter and draughtsman. With Giambattista Tiepolo and Piazzetta, he was the most representative history painter of the Venetian Rococo. Besides altarpieces for Venetian and other churches as well as devotional images for private clients on both sides of the Alps, he painted subjects from mythology and Classical literature for collectors and connoisseurs in a Rococo idiom all his own; it is these secular pictures for which he is best known. Zava Boccazzi's catalogue raisonn of Pittoni's paintings (1979) includes 247 extant autograph works and 117 paintings now lost, destroyed or untraced. Binion's catalogue raisonn? of the artist's drawings (1983) lists 304 sheets. Pittoni's total output must have been far larger, as is evident from the drawings, many of which are studies for unknown works. For instance, Pittoni must occasionally have painted decorations for secular buildings and palazzi, probably in fresco, though none has yet come to light, with the notable exception of the few frescoes with scenes from the Life of Diana, painted in 1727 in the palazzetto Widman in Bagnoli di Sopra near Padua. Charles Dauphin
Charles Claude Dauphin or Dofin, called in Italian Delfino, a French painter of historical subjects and portraits, was the son of Olivier Dauphin. He went to Turin about the year 1664, and worked there for the Prince of Carignano. He was also employed for the churches, but his works are in no great estimation, abounding as they do with the most ridiculous absurdities. In the church of San Carlo is an altar-piece by him, described by Lanzi as a most ludicrous composition. He died in 1677.