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 :. | In Realms of Fancy | The Mirror | Under the Blossom that Hangs on the Bough | The Jewel Casket | Mischief |
Related Artists:Eugenio Lucas Velazquez
Madrid artist , 1817-1870
Italian Mannerist Painter, ca.1518-1594
His father was a silk dyer (tintore); hence the nickname Tintoretto ("Little Dyer"). His early influences include Michelangelo and Titian. In Christ and the Adulteress (c. 1545) figures are set in vast spaces in fanciful perspectives, in distinctly Mannerist style. In 1548 he became the centre of attention of artists and literary men in Venice with his St. Mark Freeing the Slave, so rich in structural elements of post-Michelangelo Roman art that it is surprising to learn that he had never visited Rome. By 1555 he was a famous and sought-after painter, with a style marked by quickness of execution, great vivacity of colour, a predilection for variegated perspective, and a dynamic conception of space. In his most important undertaking, the decoration of Venice's Scuola Grande di San Rocco (1564 C 88), he exhibited his passionate style and profound religious faith. His technique and vision were wholly personal and constantly evolving.Aert Anthonisz
painted A French Ship and Barbary Pirates in 1615