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 :. | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | Flabellifera | The Bouquet | The Tease | At the Gate of the Temple |
Related Artists:Bierstadt Albert
German-born American Hudson River School Painter, 1830-1902
was a German-American painter best known for his large landscapes of the American West. In obtaining the subject matter for these works, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century. Bierstadt was part of the Hudson River School, not an institution but rather an informal group of like-minded painters. The Hudson River School style involved carefully detailed paintings with romantic, almost glowing lighting, sometimes called luminism. Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Germany. His family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1833. He studied painting with the members of the D??sseldorf School in D'sseldorf, Germany from 1853 to 1857. He taught drawing and painting briefly before devoting himself to painting. Bierstadt began making paintings in New England and upstate New York. In 1859, he traveled westward in the company of a Land Surveyor for the U.S. government, returning with sketches that would result in numerous finished paintings. In 1863 he returned west again, in the company of the author Fitz Hugh Ludlow, whose wife he would later marry. He continued to visit the American West throughout his career. Though his paintings sold for princely sums, Bierstadt was not held in particularly high esteem by critics of his day.Nuncques, William Degouve de
Belgian Symbolist Painter, 1867-1935
was a Belgian painter. He was born at Montherme, the Ardennes, France, of an old aristocratic family, After the Franco-Prussian war (1870C71), his parents settled in Belgium, and he taught himself to paint. In 1894 he married fellow artist Juliette Massin, who introduced him to the circle of Symbolist poets, who had a considerable influence on his style. He belonged to the avant-garde group Les XX and later exhibited at La Libre Esthetique. He travelled widely and painted views of Italy, Austria and France, often of parks at night. His best-known pictures, Pink House (1892), The Angels (1894), and Peacocks (1896), demonstrate the magical quality of his work. Pink House is thought to have been a major influence on Surrealism, especially the paintings of Rene Magritte. He is supposed to have said "To make a painting, all you need to do is to take some paints, draw some lines, and fill the rest up with feelings." A regular exhibitor in Paris, he was championed by Puvis de Chavannes and Maurice Denis. From 1900 to 1902 he and his wife lived in the Balearic Islands, where he painted the rugged coastline and the orange groves. After suffering a religious crisis around 1910, he painted pictures that revealed his tormented state of mind, and during World War I, while a refugee in the Netherlands, he produced only minor works. In 1919 he was overwhelmed by the death of his wife and lost the use of one hand. In 1930 he married the woman who had helped him through the crisis. Jean Cotelle
Jean Cotelle, 'the younger', was a painter and engraver, born in Paris in 1645. He received his early instruction from his father, Jean Cotelle, and eventually visited Italy. On his return he devoted himself to his profession, producing historical paintings, miniatures, and occasionally etchings. His chef-d'oeuvre was the 'Marriage at Cana,' painted in 1681 for the cathedral of Notre-Dame. There are by him at Versailles several views in the gardens of that palace. He etched a plate representing 'Our Lord on the Mount of Olives,' and a series of seven scenes from the history of Venus. He was admitted into the Academy in 1672, and died at Villers-sur-Marne in 1708.