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 :. | Venus at the Bath | A Pompeian Lady | New Perfume | Belvedere | Priestess |
Related Artists:POST, Pieter Jansz
(b. 1608, Haarlem, d. 1669, 's Gravenhage). Francesco Peluso
Italian, 19th centurySir Francis Drake
1540-1596,English admiral, the most renowned seaman of the Elizabethan Age. Brought up by his wealthy Hawkins relatives (see John Hawkins) in Plymouth, Drake went to sea at about age 18. He gained a reputation as an outstanding navigator and became wealthy by raiding and plundering Spanish colonies. In 1577 he set sail with five ships, but ultimately only his flagship, the Golden Hind, made its way through the Strait of Magellan into the Pacific and up the coast of South and North America. He sailed at least as far north as what is now San Francisco, claiming the area for Elizabeth, and continued westward to the Philippines and around the Cape of Good Hope. Having circumnavigated the globe, he returned to Plymouth, Eng., in 1580 laden with treasure, the first captain ever to sail his own ship around the world. In 1581 he was knighted. Appointed vice admiral (1588), he destroyed ships and supplies destined for the Spanish Armada and delayed the Spanish attack for a year. But he is not known to have played any part in the battle that eventually occurred. In his lifetime, his reputation at home was equivocal, yet his legend grew. On his last voyage he succumbed to fever and was buried at sea.