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 :. | Drusilla | A Souvenir | Campaspe | Campaspe | The Mirror |
Related Artists:Arthur William Devis
(10 August 1762 - 11 February 1822) was an English painter of history paintings and portraits. He was appointed draughtsman in a voyage projected by the East India Company in 1783, under Captain Henry Wilson, in which he was wrecked on the Pelew Islands before proceeding to Canton and thence to Bengal. He painted portraits and historical subjects, sixty-five of which he exhibited (1779-1821) at the Royal Academy.
Luca Giordano Gallery
Charles II of Spain towards 1687 invited him over to Madrid, where he remained for 10 years (1692-1702). In Spain, he produced works for the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Buen Retiro palace, El Escorial, Toledo, and other sites. Giordano was popular at the Spanish court, and the king granted him title as a "caballero". One anecdote of Giordano's speed at painting is that, he was once asked by the Queen of Spain what his wife looked like. On the spot, he painted his wife into the picture before him for the Queen.
In Spain he executed numerous works, continuing in the Escorial the series commenced by Cambiasi, and painting frescoes of the Triumphs of the Church, the Genealogy and Life of the Madonna, the stories of Moses, Gideon, David and the Celebrated Women of Scripture, all works of large dimensions. His Dream of Solomon (1693, now at Prado) dates from this period. His pupils, Aniello Rossi and Matteo Pacelli, assisted him in Spain. In Madrid he worked more in oil-colour, a Nativity there being one of his best productions.Palace of Versailles