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 :. | Flabellifera | Yes or No | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii | Old Old Story | The Melody, circa |
Related Artists:MALOUEL, Jean
Netherlandish Gothic Era Painter, ca.1365-1415
North Netherlandish painter, active in Burgundy. He was the son of the heraldic artist Willem Maelwael and uncle of the Limbourg brothers. First recorded as a painter in 1382, he is then documented on 20 September 1396 for a commission to provide designs for textiles with decorative armorial bearings for Queen Isabeau of Bavaria, wife of Charles VI, for which he received payment on 27 March 1397. By 5 August 1397 he was in Dijon, where he succeeded Jean de Beaumetz as court painter and Valet de Chambre to Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Malouel was highly paid, and his annual pension was considerably more than that of Beaumetz or of the sculptor Claus Sluter. One of the first works Malouel produced for the Duke was a painting of the Apostles with St Anthony (untraced), paid for on 11 November 1398, which the Duke is known to have kept in his private oratory. On 18 March 1398 wooden supports were purchased for Malouel to paint five large altarpieces for the Charterhouse of Champmol, outside Dijon. The subject-matter of the paintings is not specified in the document, although the dimensions of the panels are given. The Martyrdom of St Denis (Paris, Louvre; for illustration see BELLECHOSE, HENRI) has been identified as one of these five panels, on the basis of its possible provenance and its dimensions, which correspond approximately to those given in the document. In May 1416, however, Henri Bellechose received pigments to 'perfect' a painting of the Life of St Denis, and this document, in conjunction with the earlier one, has been interpreted to suggest that Bellechose completed a work left unfinished by Malouel. Daniel Schultz the Younger
painted Portrait of Maria Kazimiera with her son Jakub Ludwik in 1674Sandro botticelli and workshop