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 Fruit Vendor | A Grecian Lovely | Nerissa | The Jewel Casket | Drusilla |
Related Artists:George Thomas
Union general in the American Civil War, b. Southampton co., Va. He served in the Seminole War and in the Mexican War. Later he taught at West Point and served in Texas. As a brigadier general of volunteers, he was sent to Kentucky, where he defeated the Confederates at Mill Springs (Jan., 1862). Thomas served under General Buell at Shiloh, Corinth, and Perryville. In the Chattanooga campaign, his stand on Sept. 20, 1863, which saved the Union army from complete rout, won for him the sobriquet Rock of Chickamauga. Appointed brigadier general in the regular army, he succeeded General Rosecrans in command of the Army of the Cumberland (Oct., 1863) and served under Ulysses S. Grant around Chattanooga and under General Sherman in the Atlanta campaign. With the fall of Atlanta (Sept., 1864), Grant ordered Thomas to pursue the army of General Hood into Tennessee. Although accused by Grant of moving too slowly, and threatened with the loss of his command, Thomas waited and finally defeated Hood at Nashville (Dec., 1864). Hicks, Thomas
American Painter, 1823-1890
Cousin of Edward Hicks. After being apprenticed (c. 1835-9) in the sign-painting shop of his cousin, he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (1839-40) and at the National Academy of Design in New York (1840-44). He then sketched and painted in England, Italy and France before becoming a student of Thomas Couture in Paris (1848-9). On his return to the USA in 1849, he established a studio in New York and quickly became a popular portrait painter, although his portrayals only rarely have enough psychological depth to make them of more than documentary interest. Hamilton Fish (1852; New York, City Hall) is among his stronger works. Hicks also painted genre subjects, such as Musicale: Barber Shop, Trenton Falls (1866; Raleigh, NC Mus. A.), and landscapes, the latter chiefly near Thornwood, his summer residence at Trenton Falls, NY.Wladislaw Podkowinski
Polish Painter, 1866-1895