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 Quiet Pet detail | Drusilla | The Peacock Fan | Blossoming Red Almond | Athenais |
Related Artists:Edwin Howland Blashfield
mural painter and mosaic designer.
American painter. He began to study art seriously in 1867 in Paris under L?on Bonnat, with whom he remained (except between 1870 and 1874) until 1880. Blashfield's mural style was significantly influenced by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Jean-Paul Laurens and Paul Baudry, whose decorations he had studied in the Panth?on while in Paris. He made a trip in 1887 to England, where he became briefly associated with the Anglo-American artists' colony in Broadway, Glos, which included Edwin Austin Abbey, John Singer Sargent, Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Frederic Leighton. Charles Deas
1818-1867,American painter. After an unsuccessful attempt to obtain an appointment at West Point Military Academy, he turned to an artistic career. He quickly earned recognition at the annual exhibitions of the National Academy of Design, New York, to which he was elected an associate member in 1839, with subjects taken from James Fenimore Cooper, such as the Turkey Shoot (c. 1837; Richmond, VA Mus. F.A.), and from Washington Irving, The Devil and Tom Walker (1838; Richard P. W. Williams priv. col.). Edward Matthew Ward
His parents encouraged his early interest in art. He was sent to a number of art schools, including that of John Cawse (1779-1862), before gaining entry to the Royal Academy Schools in 1835. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1834 with Adelphi Smith as Don Quixote (untraced). In 1836 he went abroad for further study, visiting Paris and Venice on the way to Rome, where he spent three years. His first work of any consequence was Cimabue and Giotto (untraced), which he sent back to the Royal Academy show of 1839. On the way back to England at the end of that year Ward visited Munich to learn the technique of modern fresco painting in order to take part in the competition to decorate the Palace of Westminster, but his cartoon, Boadicea (1843; untraced), was unsuccessful. However, in 1852 he was commissioned to produce eight pictures for the Palace of Westminster, on subjects drawn from the English Civil War, the best of which is the Last Sleep of Argyll (1860s) in the Commons Corridor of the Houses of Parliament