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 | La Pensierosa | Yes or No | Ionian Dancing Girl | A Souvenir |
Related Artists:Charles William Mitchell
(1854 - 1903) was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter from Newcastle. A contemporary of John William Waterhouse, his work is similar in many ways. His one famous piece was Hypatia, shown in 1885 and likely inspired by the Charles Kingsley serialized novel Hypatia or New Foes with an Old Face. This painting is currently in the Laing Art Gallery.Burne-Jones, Sir Edward Coley
British Pre-Raphaelite Painter, 1833-1898
English painter and decorative artist. He was the leading figure in the second phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. His paintings of subjects from medieval legend and Classical mythology and his designs for stained glass, tapestry and many other media played an important part in the Aesthetic Movement and the history of international Symbolism. Carlo Francesco Nuvolone
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1609-1662
was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Lombardy. He was born in Milan to an Cremonese father and mannerist painter, Panfilo Nuvolone. After working with his father, he studied under Giovanni Battista Crespi (il Cerano) in the Accademia Ambrosiana in Milan. In that studio he would have encountered Daniele Crespi and Giulio Cesare Procaccini. Of particular interest is his depiction of himself as a painter surrounded by his family of artists