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 :. | Le Billet Doux (The Love Letter) | Drusilla | Dolce Far Niente | Athenais | A Priestess |
Related Artists:Meliore di Jacopo
Italian, active ca.1260-1271
German Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1480-1542, Illuminator, painter, draughtsman and woodcutter, son of Georg Beck. He first appears as an illuminator and collaborator with his father in two Psalters for the Augsburg monastery of SS Ulrich and Afra in 1495, producing 35 coloured initial letters for each of them (Augsburg, Staats- & Stadtbib., Cod. 49a). These are vigorously coloured but fairly uniform in character, with small, lively biblical scenes excellently adapted to the letters. Red, green and blue predominate; ochre tones provide a link with the gold ground. The initial letter X is composed of splendidly curled, entwining foliage with birds and half-figures of prophets; the Virgin, Joseph, the Christ Child in the manger and the choir of angels are each enclosed in one of its sectors. The figures are presented in a light, easy manner; the draughtsmanship avoids unnecessary detail. FERNANDES, Vasco
Portuguese painter (active 1500-1542 in Viseu)
Portuguese painter. He was the leading painter of northern Portugal during the first half of the 16th century, and it is probable that he received his training abroad. Fernandes is the best-documented Portuguese artist of the period; there are nearly 100 works attributed to him, some of which are securely documented and record his activity either alone or in collaboration with the Viseu painter GASPAR VAZ. Fernandes's most important work was carried out in Lamego and in Viseu, where the term Gr?o ('Great') used in praise of him is first recorded (Ribeiro Botelho Pereira). In 1753 the Director of the Dresden Gallery, Pietro Guarienti, first used the epithet when he referred to Fernandes by the name of Gran Vasco. The many myths about the painter and his work developed from this date and were not clarified until 1846