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 :. | He Loves Me He Loves Me Not | Flabellifera | Venus at the Bath | Godward Leaning on the Balcony | Sweet Nothings by Godward |
Related Artists:Margaret Isabel Dicksee
Danish Painter, 1864-1916, was a painter born in Copenhagen, Denmark known for his poetic, low-key portraits and interiors.The son of a well-to-do merchant, Christian Hammershoi and his wife, Frederikke (nee Rentzmann), Vilhelm studied drawing from the age of eight with Neils Christian Kierkegaard and Holger Gronvold, as well as painting with Vilhelm Kyhn, before embarking on studies with Frederik Vermehren and others at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. From 1883 to 1885, he studied with Peder Severin Kroyer.Adolph Tidemand
(1814-1876) was a noted Norwegian romantic nationalism painter. Among his best known paintings are Haugianerne (The Haugeans painted in 1852) and Brudeferd i Hardanger (The Bridal Procession in Hardanger painted in 1848) with Hans Gude.
Adolph Tidemand was born in Mandal, Norway as the son of customs inspector and Storting representative Christen Tidemand (1779-1838) and Johanne Henriette Henrikke Haste (1779-1859). He received private art lessons in his home town and his talent was soon recognized. He then was enrolled in an art school in Christiania, moving on to Copenhagen in the period 1832-37. Upon arrival in Copenhagen, he was rejected by the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and studied at a private school of art, but by 1833 he was a pupil at the Academy, earning Academy exhibitions in 1835 and 1836. He studied there for five years and then began a journey to Italy to study further. But when Tidemand came to Desseldorf, Germany, he liked it so much that he settled down there.
From 1837-1841 he continued his studies with the art academy in Desseldorf, which at the time enjoyed widespread international recognition. He studied with and was influenced by his teacher, Theodor Hildebrandt.