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 Old, Old Story | A Classical Beauty | Contemplation | The Bouquet | Belvedere |
Related Artists:ROELAS, Juan de las
Spanish painter (c. 1560-1625). Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes
(December 6, 1750 - February 16, 1819) was a French painter.
Valenciennes worked in Rome from 1778 to 1782, where he made a number of landscape studies directly from nature, sometimes painting the same set of trees or house at different times of day.He theorized on this idea in Advice to a Student on Painting, Particularly on Landscape (1800), developing a concept of a "landscape portrait" in which the artist paints a landscape directly while looking upon it, taking care to capture its particular details.Although he spoke of this as a type of painting mainly of interest to "amateurs", as distinguished from the higher art of the academies, he found it of great interest, and of his own works the surviving landscape portraits have been the most noted by later commentators. He in particular urged artists to capture the distinctive details of a scene's architecture, dress, agriculture, and so on, in order to give the landscape a sense of belonging to a specific place; in this he probably influenced other French artists active in Italy who took an anthropological approach to painting rural areas and customs, such as Hubert Robert, Pierre-Athanase Chauvin and Achille-Etna Michallon.Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz
Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz Gallery
Born in Rome, he was the son of the painter Madrazo y Agudo (1781-1859), and received his first instruction from his father. While still attending the classes at the Royal Academy of San Fernando, he painted his first picture, The Resurrection of Christ (1829), which was purchased by Queen Christina. Not long afterwards he painted Achilles in his Tent, and subsequently presented to the Academy The Continence of Scipio, which secured him admission as a member "for merit".
While decorating the palace of Vista Alegre he took up portraiture. In 1852 he went to Paris, where he studied under Franz Winterhalter, and painted portraits of Baron Taylor and Ingres. In 1837 he was commissioned to produce a picture for the gallery at Versailles, and painted "Godfrey de Bouillon proclaimed King of Jerusalem". The artist then went to Rome, where he worked at various subjects, sacred and profane. Then he painted Maria Christina in the Dress of a Nun by the Bedside of Ferdinand III (1843), Queen Isabella, The Duchess of Medina-Coeli, and The Countess de Vilches (1845-1847), besides a number of portraits of the Spanish aristocracy, some of which were sent to the exhibition of 1855.
He received the Legion of Honour in 1846. He was made a corresponding member of the Paris Academy of Fine Arts on 10 December 1853, and in 1873, on the death of Schnorr, the painter, he was chosen foreign member. After his father's death he succeeded him as director of the Museo del Prado and president of the Academy of San Fernando. He originated in Spain the production of art reviews and journals, such as El Artiste, El Renacimiento, and El Semanario pintoresco. He died at Madrid in 1894.