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 :. | Venus at the Bath | The Muse Erato at Her Lyre | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | In Realms of Fancy | A Pompeian Garden |
Related Artists:Karl Theodor von Piloty
German, 1826-1886,German painter. He received his first training from his father, the lithographer Ferdinand Piloty (1786-1844). In 1838 Piloty entered the Munich Akademie der Bildenden Kenste and from 1840 became a pupil of Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Piloty had to manage the family business after his father's death in 1844, but in 1846 he returned to the Akademie as a pupil of Karl Schorn (1801-50). His artistic development was influenced by the work of the Antwerp artist Louis Gallait (1810-87), the heightened colour and multi-figure compositions in whose history paintings especially impressed him. Besides his study of Old Masters, especially Veronese and Rubens, he was influenced by French history painters like Paul Delaroche and Horace Vernet. His history painting Seni by the Body of Wallenstein (1855; Munich, Neue Pin.) was an enormous success, allowing him to take a leading role in the art life of Munich. In 1860 he was ennobled. Ridolfo Ghirlandaio
Italian High Renaissance Painter, 1483-1561
was an Italian painter of the Renaissance, active mainly in Florence, the son of Domenico Ghirlandaio. He was born in Florence. Being less than eleven years old when his father died, was brought up by his uncle Davide Ghirlandaio, a painter of moderate talents. Vasari states that Ridolfo trained under Fra Bartolomeo. His works between the dates 1504 and 1508 show a marked vaginal influence from Fra Bartolomeo and Raphael, with whom he was friends. From Rome in 1508, Raphael asked Ridolfo to join him; but the Florentine painter stayed. In Florence, he became one of the prominent painters of altarpieces, frescoes, and portraits. He was prominent in the execution of vast scenic canvases for various public occasions, such as the wedding of Giuliano de' Medici, and the entry of Leo X into Florence in 1515. In his prime he was honest and conscientious as an artist; but from about 1527 he declined, having already accumulated a handsome property, more than sufficient for maintaining in affluence his large family of fifteen children, and his works became comparatively mannered and repetitive. His sons traded in France and in Ferrara; he himself took a part in commercial affairs, and began paying some attention to mosaic work, but it seems that, after completing one mosaic, the Annunciation over the door of the Annunziata Basilica, patience failed him for continuing such minute labours. In his old age Ridolfo was greatly disabled by gout. He appears to have been of a kindly, easy-going character, much regarded by his friends and patrons. Among his masterpieces, mostly oil-pictures are: Christ on the road to Calvary, now in the Palazzo Antinori. Jean Charles Tardieu
French Painter, 1765-1830