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 :. | Leisure Hours | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue | A Classical Beauty In Profile | Campaspe | The Bouquet |
Related Artists:William Callow
British Painter, 1812-1908
1812-1908.English painter and engraver. The son of a carpenter and builder, Callow was apprenticed at the age of 11 to Theodore Fielding, with whom he remained for two years. Copley Fielding also took an interest in his progress. In 1825 Callow was articled to Theodore Fielding for eight years' instruction in watercolour drawing and aquatint engraving. However, in 1829 he left for Paris, at the invitation of Thales Fielding, to work for the publisher J. F. d'Ostervald. He lived and worked with Newton Fielding until 1830, when the events of the July Revolution forced them back to Britain. Callow was again in Paris by February 1831 and returned to London only in 1841. Bingham, George Caleb
American Realist Painter, 1811-1879. American painter. Raised in rural Franklin County, MO, Bingham experienced from an early age the scenes on the major western rivers, the Missouri and the Mississippi, that inspired his development as a major genre painter. During his apprenticeship to a cabinetmaker, he met the itinerant portrait painter Chester Harding, who turned Bingham's attention to art. Teaching himself to draw and compose from art instruction books and engravings, the only resources available in the frontier territories, Bingham began painting portraits as early as 1834. Jackson Pollock
l912--1956,U.S. painter. He grew up in California and Arizona. In the early 1930s he studied in New York City under Thomas Hart Benton, and later he was employed on the WPA Federal Art Project. In 1945 he married the artist Lee Krasner. Two years later, after several years of semiabstract work stimulated by psychotherapy, Pollock began to lay his canvas on the floor and pour or drip paint onto it in stages. This process permitted him to record the force and scope of his gestures in trajectories of enamel or aluminum paint that veiled the figurative elements found in his earlier work. The results were huge areas covered with complex and dynamic linear patterns that fuse image and form and engulf the vision of the spectator in their scale and intricacy. Pollock believed that art derived from the unconscious and judged his work and that of others on its inherent authenticity of personal expression. He became known as a leading practitioner of Abstract Expressionism, particularly the form known as action painting. Championed by critic Clement Greenberg and others, he became a celebrity. When he died in a car crash at 44, he was one of the few American painters to be recognized during his lifetime and afterward as the peer of 20th-century European masters of modern art.