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 :. | Youth and Time | Idle Thoughts | Campaspe | Venus at the Bath | A Souvenir |
Related Artists:Richard Wilson
Welsh Romantic Painter, ca.1713-1782
was a Welsh landscape painter, and one of the founder members of the Royal Academy in 1768. Wilson has been described as '...the most distinguished painter Wales has ever produced and the first to appreciate the aesthetic possibilities of his country.' Wilson is considered to be the father of landscape painting in Britain. The son of a clergyman, Wilson was born in Penegoes, Montgomeryshire. The family was an old and respected one, and Wilson was first cousin to Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden. In 1729 he went to London where he began as a portrait painter, under the apprentership of an obscure artist, Thomas Wright. From 1750 to 1757 he was in Italy and adopted landscape on the advice of Francesco Zuccarelli. Painting in Italy and afterwards in England, he was the first major British painter to primarily concentrate on landscape. He composed well, but saw and rendered only the general effects of nature thereby creating a personal, ideal style influenced by Claude Lorrain and the Dutch landscape tradition. According to John Ruskin, he "paints in a manly way, and occasionally reaches exquisite tones of colour." He concentrated on painting Italianate landscapes and landscapes based upon classsical literature, but when his painting The Destruction of the Children of Niobe (c.1759-60) won high acclaim he gained many commissions from wealthy families seeking classical potrayals of their estates. Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini
(29 April 1675 -- November 1741) was a widely-travelled Rococo decorative painter from Venice, where he was born and died. He is considered to be one of the most important Venetian painters of the early 18th century, melding the Renaissance style of Paolo Veronese with the Baroque of Pietro da Cortona and Luca Giordano,and is considered an important predecessor of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. One of his pupils was Antonio Visentini.
Pellegrini's father, also Antonio, was a shoemaker from Padua. Pellegrini first studied under Girolamo Genga, but was later a pupil of Paolo Pagani and of Sebastiano Ricci. He married Angela Carriera, the sister of Rosalba Carriera, in c.1704. Pellegrini decorated the dome above the staircase at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in 1709.
He is mainly known for his work in England, which he visited from 1708 to 1713 at the invitation of the Earl of Manchester, and where he had considerable success. He painted murals in a number of English country houses, including Castle Howard (mostly destroyed in 1940) and Kimbolton Castle, Narford Hall, and in London, 31 St James's Square for the Duke of Portland, where George Vertue noted in his notebooks "the hall and Staircase and one or two of the great rooms". He became a director of Sir Godfrey Kneller's Academy in London in 1711. He submitted designs for the decorating the interior dome of the new St Paul's Cathedral, and is said to have been Christopher Wren's favourite painter, but did not win the commission, losing out to Sir James Thornhill.
Netherlandish Painter, ca.1517-1577