John William Godward
John William Godward's
Oil Paintings

John William Godward Museum
9 August 1861-13 December 1922, was an English painter.

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John William Godward
At the Garden Shrine Pompeii
Medium Oil on canvas Current location Private collection cyf
ID: 73895

John William Godward At the Garden Shrine Pompeii
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John William Godward At the Garden Shrine Pompeii


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John William Godward

English 1861-1922 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 Priestess | Pompeian Lady | Dolce far Niente or Sweet Nothings | Youth and Time | Under the Blossom that Hangs on the Bough |
Related Artists:
Hiroshige, Ando
Japanese Ukiyo-e Printmaker, 1797-1858 Japanese painter and printmaker. He was one of the greatest and most prolific masters of the full-colour landscape print and one of the last great ukiyoe ('pictures of the floating world') print designers
Ivar Kamke
Sweden (1882 -1936 ) - Painter
CRESPI, Daniele
Italian Baroque Era Painter, ca.1598-1630 Italian painter and draughtsman. He was the most original artist working in Milan in the 1620s, the first to break with the wilfully exaggerated manner of Lombard Mannerism and to develop an early Baroque style, distinguished by clarity of form and content. In this context his Supper of St Carlo Borromeo is one of the most famous early 17th-century pictures in northern Italy.






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