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 :. | A Souvenir | New Perfume | Classical Beauty | Le Billet Doux (The Love Letter) | On the Balcony |
Related Artists:Robert Havell Jr Prints
Engraver and painter, cousin of William Havell. He learnt the art of aquatint engraving from his father, Robert Havell I. He worked first in the family engraving business and then c. 1825-7 with Colnaghi in London. In 1827 he undertook the execution in aquatint of the plates for John James Audubon Birds of America, published in parts in London between 1827 and 1838. Havell engraved 425 of the plates and reworked the ten that had been engraved by William Home Lizars in Edinburgh. Havell father printed and coloured some of the double elephant folio sheets in 1827-8 after which Havell took on those tasks himself, establishing himself as a master of aquatint. Among his other important works in the medium are the plates for Mrs E. Bury Selection of Hexandrian Plants (London, 1831-4). In 1839, at Audubon invitation, Havell moved with his family to New York and embarked on a new career as a landscape painter in the style of the Hudson River school, while also working as an engraver. He settled in the Hudson River villages of Ossining (1841) and Tarrytown (1857) but painted throughout north-eastern America. View of Deerfield, Massachusetts (1847; Hist. Deerfield, MA) is characteristic of his quietly romantic idealization of his subjects. Niagara Falls from the Chinese Pagoda (1845; New York, Pub. Lib.), engraved by Havell after one of his paintings, is among the best known of his American aquatints. Though his reputation rests largely on his work for Audubon, his original subjects gave him greater opportunities to display the full range of his aquatint technique.
Part of the Havell familyWalter Shirlaw
Scottish-American artist , 1838-1909
was a Scottish-American artist. Shirlaw was born in Paisley, Scotland, and moved to the United States with his parents in 1840. He worked as a bank-note engraver, and his work was first exhibited at the National Academy in 1861. He was elected an academician of the Chicago Academy of Design in 1868. Among his pupils there was Frederick Stuart Church. From 1870 to 1877 he studied in Munich, under George Raab, Richard Wagner, Arthur George von Ramberg, and Wilhelm Lindenschmidt. His first work of importance was the Toning of the Bell (1874), which was followed by Sheep-shearing in the Bavarian Highlands (1876). The latter, which is probably the best of his works, received honorable mention at the Paris exposition in 1878. Other notable works from his easel are Good Morning (1878), in the Buffalo Academy; Indian Girl and Very Old (1880); Gossip (1884); and Jealousy (1886), owned by the Academy of Design, New York. His largest work is the frieze for the dining-room in the house of Darius O. Mills in New York. Shirlaw has also earned an excellent reputation as an illustrator. He was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists, and was its first president. On his return from Europe he took charge of the Art Students League of New York, and for several years taught in the composition class.Emile Munier
was a French academic artist and student of William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
Emile Munier was born in Paris and lived with his family at 66 rue des Fosses, St. Marcel. His father, Pierre François Munier, was an artist upholsterer at the Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins and his mother, Marie Louise Carpentier, was a polisher in a cashmere cloth mill.
Emile and his two brothers, François and Florimond, were gifted artists and each spent some time at the Gobelins. During Emile's training he developed a close relationship with his professor Abel Lucas and his family. He eventually married Abel's daughter Henriette.
During the 1860s, Munier received three medals at the Beaux-Arts and in 1869 he exhibited at the Paris Salon. He became a great supporter of the Academic ideals and a follower of Bouguereau, whose subject matter would be an important inspiration to the young Munier.
In 1867, Henriette gave birth to a son, Emile Henri. Six weeks after the birth, having contracted severe rheumatism, Henriette died prematurely. In 1871, Munier abandoned his career as an upholsterer and devoted his time solely to painting; he also began teaching classes to adults three nights a week.
Sargine Augrand, a student of Abel Lucas and a close friend of Emile and Henriette (before she died), caught Emile eye; they married in 1872 and lived in a small apartment and studio. Munier frequented the studio of Bouguereau, and they became friends.
In 1885 he painted, and exhibited at the Paris Salon, Trois Amis (Favourite Pets). This painting, representing a chubby girl playing on her bed with a kitten and a dog, was an extremely successful work, being reproduced in many forms and used for publicity posters by Pears Soap. With this work, Emile asserted himself as one of inters of young children and their pets; it was eventually acquired by an American collector.
Among his many American patrons were Chapman H. Hyams and his wife, who were important collectors of contemporary French paintings during the 19th century and favored artists like Henner, Bouguereau, Gerôme, Vinel and Schreyer. Munier painted their portrait in 1889, and it, along with much of their collection, is now in the New Orleans Museum of Art.
During the 1890s Munier continued to paint peasant, mythological and religious subjects. In 1893 he exhibited L'esprit de la chute d'eau, at the Paris Salon, a nude nymph whom is not unlike Naissance de Venus by Bouguereau.