John William Godward
John William Godward's
Oil Paintings

John William Godward Museum
9 August 1861-13 December 1922, was an English painter.

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John William Godward
By the Wayside
1912(1912) Oil on canvas 49 1/8 X 32 5/8 inches (125 X 83 cm)
ID: 68051

John William Godward By the Wayside
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John William Godward By the Wayside


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John William Godward

English 1861-1922 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 :. | Idle Thoughts | The Peacock Fan | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii | A Fair Reflection | The Fruit Vendor |
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Henri Leys
(18 February 1815 - 26 August 1869), also known as Henri Leys, was a Belgian painter and printmaker. Henri Leys was born and died in Antwerp. He studied with Mathieu Ignace Van Bree (1773-1839) at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp and then with his brother-in-law Ferdinand De Braekeleer (1792-1883). At the start of his career, he worked with the Belgian Romantic painter Egide Charles Gustave Wappers (1803-1874). Both artists were interested in nationalistic subjects painted in styles that owe much to the example of 16th- and 17th-century Flemish painting. In 1835 Leys went to Paris where he visited the studio of Eugene Delacroix and met Paul Delaroche. During the 1840s, Leys began painting scenes set in 16th-century Antwerp, combining details studied from life with a deliberately archaizing style reminiscent of 16th-century German painters like Albrecht Derer and Quinten Matsys. Some of the pictures have specific historical subjects, but others are genre scenes. With these pictures, he earned a following among many younger artists in Belgium as well as a considerable reputation in France, where he won a gold medal at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1855 for his historical painting The Mass of Berthal de Haze (Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels). In 1862 Leys was created a baron by King Leopold I. At the time of his death, he was engaged in decorating the interior of the Antwerp Town Hall with monumental frescoes depicting the city's history (1863-9). There are easel replicas of these in Brussels. Among the artists who studied with him are James Tissot and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. His best-known pupil is his nephew Henri De Braekeleer (1840-1888).
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Charles Muller
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