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 :. | On the Balcony | An Offering to Venus | Dolce far Niente or Sweet Nothings | Nerissa | Mischief |
Related Artists:Willem Kalf
Willem Kalf Galleries
Willem Kalf was born in Rotterdam, in 1619. He was previously thought to have been born in 1622, but H. E. van Gelder??s important archival research has established the painter??s correct place and date of birth. Kalf was born into a prosperous patrician family in Rotterdam, where his father, a cloth merchant, held municipal posts as well. In the late 1630s, Willem Kalf travelled to Paris and spent time in the circle of the Flemish artists in Saint-Germain-des-Pr??s, Paris. In Paris he painted mainly small-scale rustic interiors and still-lifes. Kalf??s rustic interiors are typically dominated by groups of vegetables, buckets, pots and pans, which he arranged as a still-life in the foreground (e.g. Kitchen Still-life, Dresden, Gemäldegal; Alte Meister). Figures usually appeared only in the blurred obscurity of the background. Though painted in Paris, those pictures belong to a pictorial tradition practised primarily in Flanders in the early 17th century, by such artists as David Teniers the Younger. The only indication of the French origin of the paintings are a few objects that Flemish exponents of the same genre would not have pictured in their works. Kalf??s rustic interiors had a large influence on French art in the circle of the Le Nain brothers. The semi-monochrome still-lifes which Kalf created in Paris form a link to the banketjes or 'little banquet pieces' painted by such Dutch artists as Pieter Claesz, Willem Claeszoon Heda and others in the 1630s. During the 1640s, Kalf further developed the banketje into a novel form of sumptuous and ornate still-life (known as pronkstilleven), depicting rich groupings of gold and silver vessels. Like other still-lifes of this period, these paintings were usually expressing vanitas allegories.Felix de vuillefroy
French, 1841-1910Emmanuel Herman Joseph Wallet
painted Fredegonde distribuant des poignards a deux assassins in 19th century