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 :. | Does He Love me | At the Garden Shrine Pompeii | A Classical Beauty | Lesbia with her Sparrow | Le Billet Doux (The Love Letter) |
Related Artists:John Vanderbank
John Vanderbank (9 September 1694 - 23 December 1739) was an English portrait painter and book illustrator, who enjoyed a high reputation for a short while during the reign of King George I, but who died relatively young due to an intemperate and extravagant lifestyle.
Vanderbank was born in London, the eldest son of John Vanderbank Snr. His father was a Huguenot tapestry weaver, born in Paris, but who was forced to flee to Holland before coming to England where he became head of a Soho tapestry weaving factory.
Vanderbank studied under Sir Godfrey Kneller at James Thornhill's art academy in Great Queen Street from 1711 until 1720, when he joined with Louis Cheron to found his own academy in St. Martin's Lane. The venture proved a failure, and in 1729 he went to France to avoid his creditors. On his return he entered "the liberties of the Fleet" - mansion houses near Fleet prison, London, in which certain privileged prisoners could serve out their sentences in return for payment.
It was noted by George Vertue that "only intemperance prevented Vanderbank from being the greatest portraitist of his generation." He died of Tuberculosis in Holies Street, Cavendish Square, London, on 23 Dec. 1739, aged about 45, and was buried in Marylebone church.Willard Leroy Metcalf
(July 1, 1858 - March 9, 1925) was an American artist born in Lowell, Massachusetts. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and later attended Academie Julian, Paris. After early figure-painting and illustration, he became prominent as a landscape painter. He was one of the Ten American Painters who in 1897 seceded from the Society of American Artists. For some years he was an instructor in the Womans Art School, Cooper Union, New York, and in the Art Students League, New York. In 1893 he became a member of the American Watercolor Society, Henry Salem Hubble
Henry Salem Hubble Galleries