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 :. | Tranquillity | A Classical Beauty | Tranquillity | In the Tepidarium | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue |
Related Artists:Adriaen Hanneman
(c. 1603 - buried 11 July 1671) was a Dutch Golden Age painter best-known today for his portraits of the exiled British royal court. His style was strongly influenced by his contemporary, Anthony Van Dyck.
Ortiz, Francisco Pradilla
Spanish painter and museum official. He first studied in Saragossa with the stage designer Mariano Pescador (d 1886), and in 1866 moved to Madrid where he began to work with the stage designers and decorators Ferri and Busato. He entered the Escuela Superior de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado and also attended the Academia de Acuarelistas. In 1873 Pradilla and his fellow student Casto Plasencia (1846-90) won history painting scholarships to study at the newly founded Academia Espaola de Bellas Artes in Rome. In 1874 he sent from Rome a copy of Raphael's Dispute over the Holy Sacrament, a work Pradilla completed in collaboration with Alejandro Ferrant (b 1844), another Spanish scholarship holder. During Pradilla's second and third years abroad he travelled through France, visiting the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1875, and Italy, where he was particularly impressed by Venice and the works of Veronese, Titian and Jacopo Tintoretto. Pradilla won a major prize in 1878 at the Exposicien Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid; as a result of this success he received the commission for another large picture on a historical theme, the Surrender of Granada (1882; in situ) for the Palacio del Senado (now Pal. de las Cortes) in Madrid. This work shows Pradilla's concern to paint from life in his treatment of the landscape of Granada. He produced other paintings on related subjects, including Mad Queen Joanna Imprisoned at Tordesillas (priv. col., see Pardo Canalis, pl. xviii) and the Sigh of the Moor (Madrid, Rodriguez Bauz priv. col., see Pardo Canalis, pl. xvii). Pradilla also painted lively scenes of local life and colour. The years of his stay in Rome, where he was director of the Academia Espaola between 1881 and 1883, allowed him to get to know the country around Rome and many other places in Italy.Charles Blechen
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