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 :. | Endymion | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii | Under the Blossom that Hangs on the Bough | The engagement ring | Sweet Dreams |
Related Artists:Girolamo Genga
Italian Painter and Architect , 1476-ca.1551
was an Italian painter and architect of the late Renaissance, Mannerist Genga was born near Urbino. According mainly to Giorgio Vasari's biography, by age thirteen Genga had gained an apprenticeship in Orvieto under Luca Signorelli. He was afterwards for three years with Pietro Perugino, in company with Raphael. He next worked in Florence and Siena (where he decorated the Petrucci palace c. 1508), along with Timoteo della Vite; and in the latter city he painted various compositions for Pandolfo Petrucci, a leading local statesman. Returning to Urbino, he was employed by Duke Guidobaldo da Montefeltro in the decorations of his palace, and showed extraordinary aptitude for theatrical adornments. He is recorded as having help design the decorations for the Duke's funeral in 1508. From Urbino, he went to Rome and painted church of Santa Caterina da Siena one of his masterpieces: The Resurrection. Francesco Maria I della Rovere, duke of Urbino, recalled Genga, and commissioned him to execute works in connection with his marriage to Eleonora Gonzaga in 1522. This prince being soon afterwards expelled by Pope Leo X, Genga followed him to Mantua, whence he went for a time to Pesaro. The duke of Urbino was eventually restored to his dominions; he took Genga with him, and appointed him the ducal architect and decorator. He worked extensively on the Villa Imperiale on Mount Accio . Among his work in Urbino, was the scenography of plays, Geertgen Tot Sint Jans
Netherlandish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1460-1490
Geertgen tot Sint Jans is also known as Geertgen van Haarlem, Gerrit van Haarlem, or Gerrit Gerritsz. Alternative spellings of his first name are Gheertgen, Geerrit, and Gheerrit, where G(h)eertgen is the diminutive form of G(h)eerrit.
Presumably, he was born in Leiden, then in the Burgundian Netherlands in the Holy Roman Empire, around the year 1465. The assignment of Leiden as his birth place is traceable to a 17th century print by Jacob van Matham. There is no known archival evidence for this claim by Jacob van Matham. The modern acceptance of Leiden as Geertgen's birth place is roughly traceable to Johann Kessler's dissertation of 1930.
Probably, Geertgen was a pupil of Albert van Ouwater, who was one of the first oil painters in the northern Low Countries. Both painters lived in the city of Haarlem. Geertgen was attached to the monastery of the Knights of Saint John, for whom he painted an altarpiece. Although Geertgen was not a member of the Order of Saint John, his last name "tot Sint Jans" was derived from the order's name and means "unto Saint John".
Geertgen died in Haarlem, then the Habsburg Netherlands in the Holy Roman Empire, around the year 1495, when he was approximately 28 years old. He was buried in the monastery of the Knights of Saint John. Modern scholars have attempted to calculate the artist's death date with the information from The Painting-Book (Middle Dutch: Het Schilder-Boeck) by Karel van Mander, published in 1604. There are some archival traces that suggest he may in fact have lived into the 16th century.Naish, John George