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 | La Pensierosa | Noonday Rest | Summer Flowers | Chloris A Summer Rose |
Related Artists:Willem Pieterszoon Buytewech
(1591/1592, Rotterdam - September 23, 1624, Rotterdam) was a Dutch painter, draughtsman and etcher of the Golden Age. He is often considered the "inventor" of Dutch genre painting. For his preference of irony, his contemporaries named him Gheestige Willem (Jolly or spiritual William).
Buytewech was the son of Pieter Jacobsz, a cobbler and candlemaker. He learned his trade in Haarlem, where he became a member of the artists' guild (Haarlem Guild of St. Luke) in 1612, together with Hercules Segers and Esaias van de Velde. Frans Hals, who was a member of this guild since 1610, had much influence on Buytenwech's work, as shown by the many drawings that the latter made after Hals's paintings. After his marriage on November 10, 1613 with Aeltje van Amerongen, of a patrician family, he returned to Rotterdam. There Hendrik Martenszoon Sorgh was one of his pupils.
Buytewech was primarily a graphic artist, mostly of landscapes and genre pieces, but occasionally also of biblical and allegorical themes. Of his paintings only eight have survived to this date, all genre pieces, most depicting merry companies.
Willem Buytewech's Merry CompanyHe died at the age of only 32 or 33 of unrecorded causes. His son Willem Willemsz Buytewech (1625-1670), born after his death, would become a painter as well.Jules Aviat
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