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 :. | The Peacock Fan | Le Billet Doux (The Love Letter) | Idleness | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | Le Billet Doux |
Related Artists:Pablo de San Leocadio
Italian-born Spanish Painter, 1447-ca.1520Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow
Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow (7 September 1789 - 19 March 1862) was a German Romantic painter.
He was born in Berlin and was the second son of the sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow.
In 1806-1807 Friedrich served as a soldier. In 1810 he traveled with his elder brother Rudolph to Rome where he became one of the leaders among painters of the Nazarene movement. Following the example of Johann Friedrich Overbeck and others, he joined the Roman Catholic Church, and held that an artist must believe and live out the truths he essays to paint. The sequel showed that Schadow was qualified to shine more as a teacher and mentor than as a painter. As an author, he is best known for his lecture, Ueber den Einfluss des Christentums auf die bildende Kunst (About The Influence of Christianity On The Visual Arts) (Desseldorf, 1843), and the biographical sketches, Der moderne Vasari (Berlin, 1854).
In Rome, Schadow was given one of his first major commissions when the Prussian Consul-General, General Jakob Salomon Bartholdy, befriended the young painter, and asked him and three young compatriots (Cornelius, Overbeck and Veit) to decorate in fresco a room in his house on the Pincian Hill. The overall theme selected was the story of Joseph and his brethren, and two scenes, the Bloody Coat and Joseph in Prison, were conferred on Schadow. In 1819, Schadow was appointed professor in the prestigious Berlin Academy of the Arts, and his ability and thorough training gained many devoted disciples.
It was during this period that Schadow developed his paintings for churches. In 1826, Professor Schadow was made director of the Desseldorf Academy of the Arts, which he reoriented towards the production of Christian art, though he began a major dispute with one of its professors, Heinrich Christoph Kolbe, ending in the latter leaving the Academy in 1832. In 1837, Schadow selected, at request, those of his students best qualified to decorate the chapel of St Apollinaris on the Rhine with frescoes. When finished, they were acclaimed as the fullest and purest manifestation of the spiritual side of the Desseldorf school. One of his famous students, Heinrich Mucke, carried on the liturgical art with emphasis both in painting and frescoes. The painting of the "Wise and Foolish Virgins," considered one of his masterworks, was commissioned in 1842. Now in the Städel Museum, this large and important picture, while carefully considered and rendered, it however lacks power of some of his other works.Massimo d Azeglio