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 :. | Autumn | Dolce far Niente or Sweet Nothings | Contemplation | Does He Love me | Idle Thoughts |
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1774-1852,English painter. Although long rumoured to be Irish, Chinnery was brought up in London, where he showed a precocious talent as a portrait painter in the traditions of Romney and Cosway. His grandfather, the calligrapher William Chinnery sr, was the author of Writing and Drawing Made Easy, Amusing and Instructive (London, 1750); his father, William jr, was also a writing master, and exhibited portraits at the Free Society of Artists. George entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1792Prince, Jean-Baptiste le
French Painter, 1734-1781
was an important French etcher and painter. Le Prince first studied painting techniques in his native Metz. He then travelled to Paris around 1750 and became a leading student of the great painter, Francois Boucher (1703-1770). Le Prince's early paintings in both theme and style are comparable to his master's rococo techniques. In 1758 Le Prince journeyed to Russia to work for Catherine the Great at the Imperial Palace, St. Petersburg. He remained in Russia for five years and also travelled extensively throughout Finland, Lithuania and even Siberia. When Le Prince returned to Paris in December, 1763, he brought with him an extensive collection of drawings which he employed as the basis for a number of fine paintings and etchings. J. B. Le Prince was elected a full member of the Academie de peinture et de sculpture in 1765. Le Prince's graphic art of Russia and its peoples is significant in that he based his compositions entirely upon his own designs, lending a much more realistic portrayal to his views than other eighteenth century contemporaries. He is also credited with being the first artist (in 1768) to introduce aquatint into his etched and engraved plates. He may even have been the inventor of aquatint, the tonal graphic art that would later be so skillfully used by such masters as Goya,