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 :. | Priestess | The Melody, circa | Youth and Time | Belvedere | By the Wayside |
Related Artists:andre bauchant
Andre Bauchant (April 24 1873 -- August 12 1958) was a French 'naive' painter whose compositions were often informed by mythology and Classical History. He originally worked as a market gardener, after his father, before serving in World War I. He later trained as a mapmaker before deciding on a career as an artist.
Bauchant was born in Chateau-Renault, Indre-et-Loire. His first exhibit was in 1920 at the Salon d'Automne. In 1927 he was commissioned by Diaghilev to design sets for Stravinsky's Apollon Musagete.Jean Marc Nattier
Jean Marc Nattier Gallery
Brother of Jean-Baptiste Nattier. As well as being taught by his father, he trained with his godfather, Jean Jouvenet, and attended the drawing classes of the Academie Royale, where in 1700 he won the Premier Prix de Dessin. From around 1703 he worked on La Galerie du Palais du Luxembourg. The experience of copying the work of Rubens does not, however, seem to have had a liberating effect on his draughtsmanship, which was described by the 18th-century collector Pierre-Jean Mariette as cold. Nattier was commissioned to make further drawings for engravers in the early part of his career, including those after Hyacinthe Rigaud famous state portrait of Louis XIV (1701; Paris, Louvre) in 1710, which indicates that he had established a reputation while he was still quite young. Although he was offered a place at the Academie de France in Rome on the recommendation of Jouvenet, Nattier preferred to remain in Paris and further his career. In 1717 he nevertheless made a trip to Holland, where he painted portraits of Peter the Great and the Empress Catherine (St Petersburg, Hermitage). The Tsar offered Nattier work at the Russian court, but the artist declined the offer. He remained in Paris for the rest of his life.Peter Dewint