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 :. | A Classical Beauty | Dolce far Niente | The Peacock Fan | A Priestess | Autumn |
Related Artists:Lungren, Fernand Harvey
American Painter, ca.1857-1932
American painter and illustrator. Of Swedish descent, the family moved to Toledo, OH, when Lungren was four years old. He showed an early talent for drawing but was intended by his father for a professional career and in 1874 entered the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, to study mining engineering. He left in 1876, however, determined to become an artist. After a protracted dispute with his father, he was allowed briefly to attend the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia, where he studied under Thomas Eakins and had Robert Frederick Blum, Alfred Laurens Brennan (1853-1921) and Joseph Pennell as fellow students. In the winter of 1877 he moved to New York, where he worked as an illustrator for Scribner's Monthly (renamed Century in 1881) during the period known as 'the Golden Age of American illustration'. His first illustration appeared in 1879 and he continued to contribute to the magazine until 1903. He was also an illustrator for the children's magazine St Nicholas from 1879 to 1904 and later for Harper's Bazaar, McClure's and The Outlook. Jean-Baptiste Capronnier
(1814-1891) was a Belgian stained glass painter. Born in Brussels in 1814, he had much to do with the modern revival of glass-painting, and first made his reputation by his study of the old methods of workmanship, and his clever restorations of old examples, and copies made for the Brussels archaeological museum. He carried out windows for various churches in Brussels (including the Église Royale Sainte-Marie), Bruges, Amsterdam and elsewhere, and his work was commissioned also for France, Italy and England. At the Paris Exhibition of 1855 he won the only medal given for glasspainting. He died in Brussels in 1891.
Italian Painter, active 1444-1477