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 :. | Autumn | Reverie | Noonday Rest | By the Wayside | Venus at the Bath |
Related Artists:beaudinAdolph Friedrich Vollmer
(17 December 1806 - 12 February 1875) was a German landscape and marine painter and graphic artist. He and his contemporary, the painter Christian Morgenstern, were pioneers in Hamburg of early Realism in painting.
As son of a bookkeeper to a Hamburg merchant, Vollmer grew up in humble circumstances. Determined to become a painter against the wishes of his father, he became an apprentice to the brothers Suhr who owned a graphic workshop producing panorama prints. For one and a half years Vollmer travelled throughout Germany with one of the brothers, Cornelius Suhr, as had been Morgenstern before him. In 1826 he was introduced by the Hamburg art-dealer Ernst Harzen to the wealthy aristocrat and supporter of the arts, Carl Friedrich von Rumohr, who was patron to many young Hamburg artists among them Morgenstern and Otto Speckter. Probably on Rumohr advice Vollmer completed his studies under Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He then moved to Munich from where he undertook journeys to Lake Konstanz, to the Austrian and Swiss Alps, to Venice, to Le Havre and to the Netherlands.
In 1839 Vollmer returned to Hamburg and settled there. One of his sons, Johannes Vollmer, became a prominent architect of protestant churches; a grand-son was the art historian and encyclopaedist Hans Vollmer who, for many years, edited the Thieme-Becker Kenstler Lexikon.
Vollmer became blind in 1866.
(1512 -1583 ) - Painter