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 :. | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue | He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not | Flabellifera | In Realms of Fancy | A Classical Beauty In Profile |
Related Artists:Jean Henri De Coene
Jean Henri De Coene, a Belgian painter of genre and historical subjects, was born at Nederbrakel in 1798.James Duffield Harding
English Painter, ca.1797-1863
English painter, engraver and writer. He received his first lessons in painting from his father, J. Harding (d 1846), who was a pupil of Paul Sandby. By 1807 the family had moved to Greenwich where Harding spent much of his time drawing and painting in Greenwich Park. In 1811 at the age of 14 he exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy. He had lessons in watercolour painting from Samuel Prout and in 1816 he won the Society of Arts silver medal for landscape painting. James Sant
(1820-1916) was a British painter specializing in portraits, and a member of the Royal Academy. Sant was born in Croydon and taught by John Varley and Augustus Wall Callcott. He lived to the age of 96 and produced an astonishing number of canvases for exhibition at the Academy, some 250 of them, from 1840 through 1904. He was elected to the RA in 1870, and in 1872 Sant was appointed Principal Painter in Ordinary (official portraitist) to Queen Victoria and the royal family. Sant resigned from the RA in 1914 to "make room for younger men." His work can be found at the Tate Gallery.
His brother George Sant (1821 - 1877) was a landscape painter. His sister Sarah Sherwood Clarke (who married Frederick Clarke, Superintendent and later Secretary of the LWS Railway) was an artist of great talent, but all that remains of her work is a collection of 48 different views of Scotland from 1854; these were exhibited for the first time at the "Watercolours & Works on Paper Fair" in London in February 2010.