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 :. | Autumn | The Jewel Casket | Sweet Dreams | Idleness | Dolce far Niente or Sweet Nothings |
Related Artists:John Hermann Carmiencke
Johann Hermann Carmiencke or John Hermann Carmiencke (born at Hamburg in 1810; died at Brooklyn, New York on 15 June 1867) was a landscape painter and etcher.
(1697, Burum? - 1756, Leeuwarden) was an eighteenth century Dutch historical and portrait painter, born in Friesland. Active in Leeuwarden.
British Painter (1823-1899)
was a British artist and war correspondent. Born into poverty in Glasgow on 28 October 1823, Simpson went on to become one of the leading 'special artists' of his day, and sketched many scenes of war for the Illustrated London News. His early years were very difficult living in a house with an abusive and alcoholic father, and in 1834 he was sent to live with his grandmother in Perth. Simpson's only formal schooling took place during this period and within a few years, he was working as an apprentice in the Glasgow lithographic firm of Macfarlane. The artist stated later that "this was the turning point which changed all my boyish intentions." It was during the years in Glasgow that he attended the Andersonian University and the Mechanics Institute in the evenings. His next position was with the lithographic company of Allan and Ferguson where he spent four years learning the trade. In 1851 Simpson moved to London where he was hired by Day & Sons. While at Day's he was able to work on several important lithographic sets. He became famous initially for his work in the Crimean War where he was sent by the firm of Colnaghi to create a series of watercolors suitable for lithographing. In the late 1850's he was sent to India to sketch scenes relating to the recent Sepoy Revolt. He joined the ILN in 1866 and covered the Abyssinian Campaign of 1868. In 1870 he went to France to sketch the war with Prussia, and in the following year observed the barricades of the Paris Commune. During a trip around the world, he stopped off in California and traveled to the Lava Beds area to report on the Modoc War in 1873. Five years later, he journeyed to Afghanistan to provide illustrations of the Second Afghan War that had broken out; he returned to London in the summer of 1879. In 1890, he observed the opening of the Forth Bridge and caught a chill which was to have detrimental effects on his health. He died at home in Willesden, north London, on August 17, 1899, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery. Besides his war pictures, he covered state events, coronations, funerals, and other ceremonies. He was particularly interested in India and sketched scenes of the Kashmir Maharajas.