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 | The Jewel Casket | The Ring | Drusilla | Athenais |
Related Artists:Pietro Cignaroli
Italian , Verona 1665-1720
Sir Edwin Landseer
Sir Edwin Landseer Galleries
Landseer was something of a child prodigy whose artistic talents were recognized early on; he studied under several artists, including his father John Landseer, an engraver, and Benjamin Robert Haydon, the well-known and controversial history painter who encouraged the young Landseer to perform dissections in order to fully understand animal musculature and skeletal structure.
At the age of just 13, in 1815, Landseer exhibited works at the Royal Academy. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy at the age of 24, and an Academician of the Royal Academy five years later in 1831. He was knighted in 1850, and although elected President of the Royal Academy in 1866 he declined the invitation.
Landseer was a notable figure in 19th century British art, and his works can be found in Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kenwood House and the Wallace Collection in London. He also collaborated with fellow painter Frederick Richard Lee.
Windsor Castle in Modern Times (1841-1845)
Queen Victoria and her family at Windsor Castle.Landseer's popularity in Victorian Britain was considerable. He was widely regarded as one of the foremost animal painters of his time, and reproductions of his works were commonly found in middle-class homes. Yet his appeal crossed class boundaries, for Landseer was quite popular with the British aristocracy as well, including Queen Victoria, who commissioned numerous portraits of her family (and pets) from the artist. Landseer was particularly associated with Scotland and the Scottish Highlands, which provided the subjects (both human and animal) for many of his important paintings, including his early successes The Hunting of Chevy Chase (1825-1826) and An Illicit Whiskey Still in the Highlands (1826-1829), and his more mature achievements such as the majestic stag study Monarch of the Glen (1851) and Rent Day in the Wilderness (1855-1868).
Landseer's paintings of dogs were highly popular among all classes of society.So popular and influential were Landseer's paintings of dogs in the service of humanity that the name Landseer came to be the official name for the variety of Newfoundland dog that, rather than being black or mostly black, features a mix of both black and white; it was this variety Landseer popularized in his paintings celebrating Newfoundlands as water rescue dogs, most notably Off to the Rescue (1827), A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society (1838), and Saved (1856), which combines Victorian constructions of childhood with the appealing idea of noble animals devoted to humankind ?? a devotion indicated, in Saved, by the fact the dog has rescued the child without any apparent human direction or intervention.
In his late 30s Landseer suffered what is now believed to be a substantial nervous breakdown, and for the rest of his life was troubled by recurring bouts of melancholy, hypchondria, and depression, often aggravated by alcohol and drug use (Ormond, Monarch 125). In the last few years of his life Landseer's mental stability was problematic, and at the request of his family he was declared insane in July 1872.
Landseer's death on 1 October 1873 was widely marked in England: shops and houses lowered their blinds, flags flew at half-staff, his bronze lions at the base of Nelson's column were hung with wreaths, and large crowds lined the streets to watch his funeral cortege pass (Ormond, Monarch 135). Landseer was buried in St Paul's Cathedral, London .Quentin Massys
Quentin Massys Galleries
Quentin Matsys, his first name also recorded as Quinten or Kwinten and his last name as Massys, Metsys, or Matsijs (1466 - 1530), was a painter in the Flemish tradition and a founder of the Antwerp school. He was born at Leuven, where he was trained as an ironsmith. Near the front of the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp is a wrought-iron well, known as the "Matsys Well," which according to tradition was made by the painter-to-be.
During the greater part of the 15th century, the centres in which the painters of the Low Countries most congregated were Tournai, Bruges, Ghent and Brussels. Leuven gained prominence toward the close of this period, employing workmen from all of the crafts. Not until the beginning of the 16th century did Antwerp take the lead which it afterward maintained against Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, Mechelen and Leuven. Matsys, as a member of Antwerp's Guild of Saint Luke, was one of its first notable artists.
A legend relates how Matsys, while a smith in Leuven, fell in love with the daughter of a painter; by changing his trade to painting, he hoped that she would love him in return. Less poetic but perhaps more likely is another version of the story: Quentin's father, Josse Matsys, was clockmaker and architect to the municipality of Leuven. The question arose as to which of his sons, Quentin or Josse, should follow in this lucrative business. Josse the son elected to succeed the father. Quentin then took up the study of painting.
We are not told expressly by whom Matsys was taught, but his style seems to have derived from the lessons of Dirk Bouts, who brought to Leuven the influence of Memling and van der Weyden. When Matsys settled at Antwerp at the age of twenty-five, his own style contributed importantly to reviving Flemish art along the lines of van Eyck and van der Weyden.
What characterizes Matsys in particular is a strong religious feeling, an inheritance from earlier schools. This feeling was permeated by a realism which often favored the grotesque. The faces of the boors of Steen or Ostade may well have had predecessors in the pictures of Matsys, though he was not inclined to use them in the same homely way. From the example of van der Weyden comes Matsys' firmness of outline, clear modelling and thorough finish of detail; from the van Eycks and Memling by way of Dirck Bouts, the glowing richness of transparent pigments.
The date of his departure from Leuven is 1491, when he became a master in the guild of painters at Antwerp. His most celebrated picture was executed in 1508 for the joiners' company in the cathedral of his adopted city. Next in importance is the Marys of Scripture round the Virgin and Child, ordered for a chapel in the cathedral of Leuven. Both altarpieces are now in public museums, one at Antwerp and the other at Brussels. They display an earnestness in expression, a minuteness of rendering, and subdued effects of light or shade. Matsys, like the early Flemish painters, lavishes care on jewelry, edgings of garments, and ornament in general.
The Moneylender and his Wife (1514)
Oil on panel, 71 x 68 cm Mus??e du Louvre, ParisNot much given to atmosphere, his paintings sometimes rely on the literalness of caricature: emphasizing the melancholy refinement of saints, the brutal gestures and grimaces of gaolers and executioners. Strenuous effort is devoted to the expression of individual character. A satirical tendency may be seen in the pictures of merchant bankers (Louvre and Windsor), revealing their greed and avarice. His other impulse, dwelling on the feelings of tenderness, may be noted in two replicas of the Virgin and Child at Berlin and Amsterdam, where the ecstatic kiss of the mother seems rather awkward. An expression of acute despair may be seen in a Lucretia in the museum at Vienna. The remarkable glow of the colour in these works, however, makes the Mannerist exaggerations palatable.
But on the whole, the best pictures of Matsys are the quietest. His Virgin and Christ, Ecce Homo and Mater Dolorosa (London and Antwerp) display a serene and dignified mastery, gaining in delicacy and nuance in the works of his maturity. It is believed that he may have known the work of Leonardo da Vinci in the form of prints made and circulated among northern artists.
Matsys had considerable skill as a portrait painter. His Ægidius (Peter Gilles) which drew from Thomas More a eulogy in Latin verse, is but one of many, to which one may add the portrait of Maximilian of Austria in the gallery of Amsterdam. In this branch of his practice, Matsys was greatly influenced by his contemporaries Lucas van Leyden and Jan Mabuse.
In his rendering of polished detail, he may lack the subtle modelling of Holbein and D??rer. There is reason, however, to think him well acquainted with these German masters. He probably met Holbein more than once on his way to England. D??rer visited his house at Antwerp in 1520. Matsys also became the guardian of Joachim Patinir's children after the death of that painter, who is believed to have worked on some of the landscapes in Matsys' pictures.
Matsys died at Antwerp in 1530. That rigor of religious feeling, which could be said to have slumbered in him, was eventually fatal to some of his relatives. His sister Catherine and her husband suffered at Leuven in 1543 for what was then the capital offence of reading the Bible: he being decapitated, she buried alive in the square before the cathedral.
His works include A Portrait of an Elderly Man (1513), The Money Changer and His Wife (1514), and The Ugly Duchess (1515).
The Ugly Duchess is perhaps the best-known of his works. It served as a basis for John Tenniel's depiction of the Duchess in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It is likely a depiction of a real person with Paget's disease, though it is sometimes said to be a portrait of Margaret, countess of Tyrol, also known as Margarete Maultasch ("Satchel-mouth").
Quentin's son, Jan Matsys, inherited the art but not the skill of his father. The earliest of his works, a St Jerome dated 1537, in the gallery of Vienna, as well as the latest, a Healing of Tobias of 1564, in the museum of Antwerp, are evidence of his tendency to substitute imitation for originality. Another son, Cornelis Matsys, was also a painter. Jan's son, Quentin Metsys the Younger, was an artist of the Tudor court, and painted the Seive Portrait of Elizabeth I of England.