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 :. | Study of Campaspe | The Ring by John William Godward | Flabellifera | A Souvenir | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder |
Related Artists:George Hardy
(1822-1909) was an English genre painter, a member of the Cranbrook Colony and eldest brother to Frederick Daniel Hardy.
Hardy was born in Brighton in Sussex the first son (of 8 children) of George Hardy (b. 1796 in London), a musician to George IV, Queen Adelaide, and Queen Victoria in the Royal household at Windsor. His mother was Sarah Lloyd (b. 1804).
Hardy became an oil painter of light-hearted genre subjects and moved to the artists' colony in Cranbrook in Kent. He married Ellen Hutton in May 1862 and the couple had 3 children.
Hardy died in Eastbourne in 1909.
Pietro, Nicolo di
Italian, active 1394-1427Louis Rhead
Louis John Rhead (November 6, 1857 - July 29, 1926) was an English-born American artist, illustrator, author and angler who was born in Etruria, Staffordshire, England. He emigrated to the United States at the age of twenty-four.