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 :. | Dolce far Niente | Dolce far Niente or Sweet Nothings | Autumn | Idle Thoughts | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder |
Related Artists:William Berczy
(December 10, 1744, Wallerstein near Noerdlingen, Germany - February 5, 1813, New York City, USA) was a German pioneer and painter.
Born in Swabia, Germany as a son of the Wirklicher Hofrat Albrecht Theodor Moll and Johanna Josepha Walpurga Moll nee Hefele, he was originally named Johann Albrecht Ulrich Moll, but later changed his name. He studied at the Akademie der bildenden Kenste in Vienna and at the University of Jena in Saxony. His early career was spent in several European countries, including Italy (meeting with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in Florence) and England, where he exhibited at the Royal Academy. In 1792 he sailed for the Americas, setting up a business in York (now - since 1834 - Toronto) a couple of years later. He also worked in Quebec. Although best known for his portraits, he also carried out religious paintings and architectural work, including plans for Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal in 1803, and was a surveyor.
painted Nu debout in about 1895
Alexander Yakovlevich GOLOVIN
an important Russian artist and stage designer who designed sets for many productions by Sergei Diaghilev,1863-1930