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 Mirror | Sweet Dreams | Chloris A Summer Rose | A Priestess | A Classical Beauty |
Related Artists:Simon Bening
Flemish Northern Renaissance Manuscript Illuminator, ca.1483-1561
was a 16th century miniature painter of the Ghent-Bruges school, the last major artist of the Netherlandish tradition. Bening was trained in his father Alexander Bening's miniature painting workshop in Ghent. He made his own name after moving to Bruges. His specialty was the book of hours, but by his time these were becoming relatively unfashionable, and only produced for royalty and the very rich. He also created genealogical tables and portable altarpieces on parchment. Many of his finest works are Labours of the Months for Books of Hours which are largely small scale landscapes, at that time a nascent genre of painting. In other respects his style is relatively little developed beyond that of the years before his birth, but his landscapes serve as a link between the 15th century illuminators and Peter Brueghel. His self-portrait and other portraits equally are early examples of the portrait miniature. He served as dean of the calligraphers, booksellers, illuminators, and bookbinders in the Guild of Saint John and Saint Luke. He created books for German rulers, like Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg, and royalty like Emperor Charles V and Don Fernando, the Infante of Portugal. The artistic tradition continued in his family. His eldest daughter, Levina TeerlincFrank Mahony
(4 December 1862 - 28 June 1916) was an Australian artist and member of the Dawn and Dusk Club.
Although christened "Francis Mahony", he later added 'Prout' and usually signed his work 'Frank P. Mahony'.
Mahony was born in Melbourne, third surviving child of Timothy Mahony, an Irish-born contractor, and his Cornish second wife Elizabeth, Johns. Mahony was taken to Sydney when 10 years old and studied at the Academy of Art under Giulio Anivitti.Mahony's work was accepted by The Bulletin and he became known for his excellent drawings of horses. In 1889 his oil painting Rounding up a Straggler, was bought for the Art Gallery of New South Wales; in 1896 The Cry of the Mothers was also purchased.Mahony did a lot of illustrative work for the Picturesque Atlas of Australia, Victoria and its Metropolis, the Antipodean and other magazines of the period, and was also responsible for some of the illustrations to Barcroft Boake's Where the Dead Men Lie.Dante Gabriel Rossetti
English Pre-Raphaelite Painter, 1828-1882
Rossetti's first major paintings display some of the realist qualities of the early Pre-Raphaelite movement. His Girlhood of Mary, Virgin and Ecce Ancilla Domini both portray Mary as an emaciated and repressed teenage girl. His incomplete picture Found was his only major modern-life subject. It depicted a prostitute, lifted up from the street by a country-drover who recognises his old sweetheart. However, Rossetti increasingly preferred symbolic and mythological images to realistic ones. This was also true of his later poetry. Many of the ladies he portrayed have the image of idealized Botticelli's Venus, who was supposed to portray Simonetta Vespucci.
Although he won support from the John Ruskin, criticism of his clubs caused him to withdraw from public exhibitions and turn to waterhum, which could be sold privately.
In 1861, Rossetti published The Early Italian Poets, a set of English translations of Italian poetry including Dante Alighieri's La Vita Nuova. These, and Sir Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur, inspired his art in the 1850s. His visions of Arthurian romance and medieval design also inspired his new friends of this time, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. Rossetti also typically wrote sonnets for his pictures, such as "Astarte Syraica". As a designer, he worked with William Morris to produce images for stained glass and other decorative devices.
Both these developments were precipitated by events in his private life, in particular by the death of his wife Elizabeth Siddal. She had taken an overdose of laudanum shortly after giving birth to a stillborn child. Rossetti became increasingly depressed, and buried the bulk of his unpublished poems in his wife's grave at Highgate Cemetery, though he would later have them exhumed. He idealised her image as Dante's Beatrice in a number of paintings, such as Beata Beatrix.
These paintings were to be a major influence on the development of the European Symbolist movement. In these works, Rossetti's depiction of women became almost obsessively stylised. He tended to portray his new lover Fanny Cornforth as the epitome of physical eroticism, whilst another of his mistresses Jane Burden, the wife of his business partner William Morris, was glamorised as an ethereal goddess.