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 :. | Sweet Dreams | Idle Thoughts | Youth and Time | The engagement ring | Classical Beauty |
Related Artists:Jacques Sablet
Jacques Sablet (1749 - 1803) was a Swiss painter. Son of a decorator and gilder from Lausanne, he studied with his father before moving to Paris in 1772; there he worked with Joseph-Marie Vien for three years. When in 1775 Vien was named director of the French Academy in Rome, Sablet accompanied him there. His ambition was to be a history painter, but facing competition from Jacques-Louis David and Pierre Peyron, among others, and lacking solid academic training, he could win no commissions. Instead he turned to portraiture , genre painting, and landscape painting. Most of his genre scenes depicted the city's everyday life and customs of the Campagna. Sablet shared a studio with history painter Hubert Drouais and was friends with Simon Denis. He fled to Florence in 1793 with the rise of anti-French sentiment in the Papal States, but perhaps because of the competition he would face there from Louis Gauffier he soon returned to Paris. Attilio Simonetti
Italian, 1843-1925Abraham van Strij
painted Een kersenverkoopster aan de deur