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 :. | A Grecian Lovely | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | New Perfume | The Ring | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder |
Related Artists:Meulen, Steven van der
Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, active 1543-1568
Netherlandish painter active in England. He was a pupil of Willem van Cleve the younger (c. 1530-1564) in 1543 and was admitted to the Antwerp Guild of St Luke in 1552; by 1560 he had travelled to London, and he was naturalized in 1562. Van der Meulen brought with him a deep knowledge of the portrait style of Anthonis Mor. This sombre, shadowed style appealed to patrons at the English court who could not travel to Antwerp to sit to the greater artist. Early in 1561 an English merchant, John Dymoch, had visited Sweden in connection with negotiations for a marriage between Queen Elizabeth and Erik XIV, taking with him a Netherlandish painter described as 'Master Staffan', and it seems likely that this was van der Meulen. The King was much pleased with the resulting portrait of himself, for which he paid 100 dalerdierec bouts
He was an Early Netherlandish painter.
According to Karel van Mander in his Het Schilderboeck of 1604, Bouts was born in Haarlem and was mainly active in Leuven (Louvain), where he was city painter from 1468. Van Mander confused the issue by writing biographies of both "Dieric of Haarlem" and "Dieric of Leuven," although he was referring to the same artist. The similarity of their last names also led to the confusion of Bouts with Hubrecht Stuerbout, a prominent sculptor in Leuven. Very little is actually known about Bouts' early life, but he was greatly influenced by Jan van Eyck and by Rogier van der Weyden, under whom he may have studied. He is first documented in Leuven in 1457 and worked there until his death in 1475.Kate Clark