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 :. | Dolce Far Niente | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue | Drusilla | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii | quiet pet |
Related Artists:Marescalca, Pietro
Italian Painter, ca.1520-1589Charles Turner
English Painter, ca.1773-1857Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism. He was a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.
Moholy-Nagy was born L??szl?? Weisz to a family of mixed Jewish and Hungarian heritage. His cousin was Georg Solti. He changed his German-Jewish surname to the Magyar surname of his uncle, Nagy. Later, he added the pseudonym Moholy to his surname, after the town in which he grew up (Mol, today in Serbia). After studying law in Budapest and serving in World War I, Moholy-Nagy was in Vienna in 1919, where he first discovered constructivism in exhibitions of works of Malevich, Naum Gabo and El Lissitzky.
In 1923, he replaced Johannes Itten as the instructor of the preliminary course at the Bauhaus. This effectively marked the end of the school's expressionistic leanings and moved it closer towards its original aims as a school of design and industrial integration. The Bauhaus became known for the versatility of its artists, and Moholy-Nagy was no exception. Throughout his career, he became proficient and innovative in the fields of photography, typography, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and industrial design. One of his main focuses was on photography. He coined the term "the New Vision" for his belief that photography could create a whole new way of seeing the outside world that the human eye could not. His theory of art and teaching was summed up in the book The New Vision, from Material to Architecture. He experimented with the photographic process of exposing light sensitive paper with objects overlaid on top of it, called photogram. While at the Bauhaus, Moholy's teaching in diverse media -- including painting, sculpture, photography, photomontage and metal -- had a profound influence on a number of his students, including Marianne Brandt.
He was editor of the art and photography department of the European avant-garde magazine International Revue i 10 from 1927 to 1929. Moholy-Nagy resigned from the Bauhaus in 1928 and worked in film and stage design in Berlin, where he was required to submit his work to be censored, and then in Paris and Holland before moving to London in 1935. In England, Moholy-Nagy formed part of the circle of ??migr?? artists and intellectuals who based themselves in Hampstead. Moholy-Nagy lived for a time in the Isokon building with Walter Gropius for eight months and then settled in Golders Green. Gropius and Moholy-Nagy planned to establish an English version of the Bauhaus but could not secure backing, and then Moholy-Nagy was turned down for a teaching job at the Royal College of Art. Moholy-Nagy made his way in London by taking on various design jobs including Imperial Airways and a shop display for men's underwear. He photographed contemporary architecture for the Architectural Review where the assistant editor was John Betjeman who commissioned Moholy-Nagy to make documentary photographs to illustrate his book An Oxford University Chest. In 1936, he was commissioned by fellow Hungarian film producer Alexander Korda to design special effects for Things to Come. Working at Denham Studios, Moholy-Nagy created kinetic sculptures and abstract light effects, but they were rejected by the film's director. At the invitation of Leslie Martin, he gave a lecture to the architecture school of Hull University.
In 1937, at the invitation of Walter Paepcke, the Chairman of the Container Corporation of America, Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago to become the director of the New Bauhaus. The philosophy of the school was basically unchanged from that of the original, and its headquarters was the Prairie Avenue mansion that architect Richard Morris Hunt designed for department store magnate Marshall Field.
Unfortunately, the school lost the financial backing of its supporters after only a single academic year, and it closed in 1938. Paepcke, however, continued his own support, and in 1939, Moholy-Nagy opened the School of Design. In 1944, this became the Institute of Design. He authored an account of his efforts to develop the curriculum of the School of Design in his book Vision in Motion.
Moholy-Nagy died of leukemia in Chicago in 1946.