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 :. | The Old Old Story | Idle Thoughts | The Ring | Dolce Far Niente | A Grecian Girl |
Related Artists:John Henry Twatchman
John Henry Twatchman Galleries John Phillip
(April 19, 1817-1867) was a Victorian era painter best known for his portrayals of Spanish life. He was nicknamed "Spanish Phillip".
Born into a poor family in Aberdeen in Scotland, Phillip's artistic talent was recognised at an early age. His education at the Royal Academy of Arts was paid for by a wealthy patron. While at the academy Phillip became a member of The Clique a group of aspirant artists organised by Richard Dadd. The Clique considered themselves to be followers of Hogarth and Wilkie. Phillip's own career was to follow that of fellow-Scot Wilkie very closely, beginning with carefully detailed paintings depicting the lives of Scottish crofters, and moving on to much more broadly painted scenes of Spanish life influenced by Murillo and Velezquez.
Phillip's early works tended to depict pious Scots families, but in 1851, after he was advised to travel to southern Europe for his health he visited Spain. Thereafter he concentrated on Spanish subjects. The first of these, The Letter Writer, Seville indicated the influence of Pre-Raphaelitism, a movement he had previously opposed, along with most other members of The Clique, despite his friendship with Millais, one of its leaders. He was so influenced by his travels that he advised other artists to do the same. Some artists, such as Edwin Long, took this advice and were similarly inspired.
In the late 1850s and 1860s Phillip's style became much broader and more painterly, in line with Millais's late work. Phillip's two most important paintings in these years were The Early Career of Murillo (1864) and La Gloria (1865, National Gallery of Scotland). The first depicted the young Murillo drawing his art from Spanish street-life; the second portrayed a Spanish wake for a dead child.
Phillip married Richard Dadd's sister, but like her brother she became insane. Phillip died of a stroke while visiting William Powell Frith. Phillip's self-portrait, "The Evil Eye", commissioned by his close friend Patrick Allan-Fraser, is in Hospitalfield House in Arbroath along with portraits of other members of The Clique.
PIAZZETTA, Giovanni Battista
Italian Rococo Era Painter, ca.1683-1754