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 Old Old Story | Reverie | Dolce far Niente or Sweet Nothings | The Bouquet | Erato at Her Lyre |
Related Artists:Antropov Aleksei
Russian, 1716-1795Thomas Stothard
English Neoclassical Painter, 1755-1834,English illustrator, painter and designer. He was one of the most popular, prolific and successful artists of his time and was highly regarded by such contemporaries as Thomas Lawrence and Walter Scott. He was the son of a prosperous publican and completed his apprenticeship as a silk weaver (1770-77), before studying at the Royal Academy, London (1777-c. 1783). From the beginning of his career, book illustration was his main area of activity. His earliest surviving works are in the decorative Rococo mode, but he soon adopted the more idealistic Neo-classicism of John Hamilton Mortimer and James Barry. Together with his friends and near contemporaries, William Blake and John Flaxman, Stothard developed an austere, linear style of draughtsmanship. Richard Caton Woodville
1856 - 1927
was an English artist and illustrator, who is best known for being one of the most prolific and effective painters of battle scenes in the late nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. The son of American Richard Caton Woodville (The First), who was also a talented artist, Woodville studied at the Dusseldorf School under the great Prussian military artist Wilhelm Camphausen, and then Eduard von Gebhardt, before briefly studying in Russia and then Paris under Gerome. Woodville spent most of his career working for the Illustrated London News where he quickly developed a reputation as a talented reporter and writer, but was also published in Cornhill Magazine, Strand Magazine, and The Tatler. Richard Caton Woodville first experienced battle first-hand when he was sent by the Illustrated London News to report upon the Russo-Turkish War (1877 C 1878), and then again in the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War where he made numerous sketches, and also obtained photographs of the trenches at Tel-e-Kebir for his friend and co-artist Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville whom had been commissioned to paint a scene of the battle. In 1879 Woodville's Before Leuthen, Dec 3rd, 1757 was exhibited in the Royal Academy. It proved popular, and afterwards he began to regularly be exhibited in Burlington House, where 21 of his battle paintings were eventually shown. His most popular works there were ones that dealt with contemporary wars, such as the Second Anglo-Afghan War, Candahar [sic], and Maiwand, Saving the Guns (Walker Art Gallery), the Zulu War, and the First Boer War. His works from Egypt were exhibited at the Fine Art Society in 1883, where his painting The Moonlight Charge at Kassassin proved very popular. The following year he exhibited by Royal Command another painting he had done of the war in Egypt, entitled The Guards at Tel-e-Kebir (Royal Collection). He continued to paint scenes of battle, and few battles or wars that Great Britain fought during his life were not touched upon by him, including the Second Boer War, and World War I. Despite his precocious talent for capturing the dramatic moments of contemporary battles, Woodville also enjoyed recreating historical scenes in both oil, and watercolour. The Illustrated London News commissioned him to complete a commemorative special series recreating the most famous British Battles of history. He depicted The Charge of the Light Brigade (Royal Collection, Madrid) and The Charge of the 21st Lancers at Omdurman (Walker Art Gallery), Battle of Blenheim, Battle of Badajos and several Battle of Waterloo pictures. During World War I, Woodville was compelled to return to the depiction of current events, and three of his Great War works were displayed in the Royal Academy.