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 :. | Ionian Dancing Girl | Godward Leaning on the Balcony | The Old, Old Story | Under the Blossom that Hangs on the Bough | The Melody, circa |
Related Artists:Agnolo Gaddi
Italian Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1345-1396
Son of Taddeo Gaddi. Through both his brother Giovanni and his father, Agnolo was heir to the Giottesque tradition and to a successful family enterprise, which he directed with enormous success up to the turn of the 15th century. He is first mentioned as a painter in 1369, when he assisted his brother Giovanni and Giovanni da Milano in decorations for Urban V (reg 1362-70) in the Vatican. Although he probably did not assume full responsibility for the workshop until his brother Giovanni death, he must have begun accepting his own commissions as early as the 1370s. The nature of his early work and whether it included an altarpiece dated 1375 (Parma, G.N., 435), however, remains a matter of debate. Logical or likely though it may be, the notion that this early activity developed out of his brother Giovanni still little-known art is hypothetical. Whereas the works grouped around Giovanni name are all small panels, Agnolo was an artist who, like his father, excelled in wall painting. Indeed, three monumental fresco cycles (see below), in the Castellani Chapel (painted c. 1384) and the choir (painted c. 1388-93) of Santa Croce, Florence, and the chapel of the Sacra Cintola (doc. 1393-5) in Prato Cathedral, constitute the artist most notable surviving works and offer a basis for reconstructing the content and chronology of his oeuvre.Erik Werenskiold
Norwegian Realist Painter, 1855-1936Oostsanen, Jacob Cornelisz van