John William Godward
John William Godward's
Oil Paintings

John William Godward Museum
9 August 1861-13 December 1922, was an English painter.

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John William Godward
A Fair Reflection
oil on canvas 116.8 x 80 cm cyf
ID: 97268

John William Godward A Fair Reflection
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John William Godward A Fair Reflection


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John William Godward

English 1861-1922 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 :. | Leisure Hours | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue | Godward Leaning on the Balcony | The Old Old Story | On the Balcony |
Related Artists:
Arthur Loureiro
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Charles Deas
1818-1867,American painter. After an unsuccessful attempt to obtain an appointment at West Point Military Academy, he turned to an artistic career. He quickly earned recognition at the annual exhibitions of the National Academy of Design, New York, to which he was elected an associate member in 1839, with subjects taken from James Fenimore Cooper, such as the Turkey Shoot (c. 1837; Richmond, VA Mus. F.A.), and from Washington Irving, The Devil and Tom Walker (1838; Richard P. W. Williams priv. col.).
Wilhelm Trubner
German, 1851-1917 was a German realist painter of the circle of Wilhelm Leibl. Trubner was born in Heidelberg and had early training as a goldsmith. In 1867 he met classicist painter Anselm Feuerbach who encouraged him to study painting, and he began studies in Karlsruhe under Fedor Dietz. The next year saw him studying at the Kunstacademie in Munich, where he was to be greatly impressed by an international exhibition of paintings by Leibl and Gustave Courbet. Courbet visited Munich in 1869, not only exhibiting his work but demonstrating his alla prima method of working quickly from nature in public performances. This had an immediate impact on many of the city's young artists, who found Courbet's approach an invigorating alternative to the shopworn academic tradition. The early 1870s were a period of discovery for Tr??bner. He travelled to Italy, Holland and Belgium, and in Paris encountered the art of Manet, whose influence can be seen in the spontaneous yet restrained style of Trubner's portraits and landscapes. During this period he also made the acquaintance of Carl Schuch, Albert Lang and Hans Thoma, German painters who, like Trubner, greatly admired the unsentimental realism of Wilhelm Leibl. This group of artists came to be known as the "Leibl circle". He published writings on art theory in 1892 and 1898, which express above all the idea that "beauty must lie in the painting itself, not in the subject". By urging the viewer to discover beauty in a painting's formal values, its colors, proportions, and surface, Trubner advanced a philosophy of "art for art's sake".






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