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 :. | A Classical Beauty | New Perfume | Pompeian Lady | Classical Beauty | Autumn |
Related Artists:Govaert Flinck
Govaert Flinck Locations
Born at Cleves, he was apprenticed by his father to a silk mercer, but having secretly acquired a passion for drawing, was sent to Leeuwarden, where he boarded in the house of Lambert Jacobszon, a Mennonite, better known as an itinerant preacher than as a painter.
Here Flinck was joined by Jacob Backer, and the companionship of a youth determined like himself to be an artist only confirmed his passion for painting. Amongst the neighbours of Jacobszon at Leeuwarden were the sons and relations of Rombertus van Uylenburgh, whose daughter Saske married Rembrandt in 1634. Other members of the same family lived at Amsterdam, cultivating the arts either professionally or as amateurs. The pupils of Lambert probably gained some knowledge of Rembrandt by intercourse with the Ulenburgs. Certainly Joachim von Sandrart, who visited Holland in 1637, found Flinck acknowledged as one of Rembrandt best pupils, and living habitually in the house of the dealer Hendrik Uylenburg at Amsterdam.
For many years Flinck laboured on the lines of Rembrandt, following that master style in all the works which he executed between 1636 and 1648. With aspirations as a history painter, however, he looked to the swelling forms and grand action of Peter Paul Rubens, which led to many commissions for official and diplomatic painting. Flinck relations with Cleves became in time very important. He was introduced to the court of the Great Elector, Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg, who married in 1646 Louisa of Orange. He obtained the patronage of John Maurice of Nassau, who was made stadtholder of Cleves in 1649. In 1652 a citizen of Amsterdam, Flinck married in 1656 an heiress, daughter of Ver Hoeven, a director of the Dutch East India Company. He was already well-known even then in the patrician circles over which the burgomasters De Graef and the Echevin Six presided; he was on terms of intimacy with the poet Vondel and the treasurer Uitenbogaard. In his house, adorned with antique casts, costumes, and a noble collection of prints, he often received the stadtholder John Maurice, whose portrait is still preserved in the work of the learned Barleius.Caspar David Friedrich
1774-1840 Caspar David Friedrich Locations German painter, studied art at Copenhagen, and in 1798 settled in Dresden. Friedrich painted chiefly landscapes and seascapes, with and without figures, architectural pictures, including a few of Dresden, and some religious subjects. Religious feeling and symbolism permeate his œuvre, of which the seascape with figures, Die Lebensstufen, is a characteristic example. He possessed considerable power to convey mood in landscape. Almost forgotten in the 19th c. and early 20th c., interest in his work increased considerably in the mid-20th c. He is hardly represented in Britain, but an exhibition of 112 of his pictures at the Tate Gallery in 1972 attracted much attention. F. G. Kersting was a friend of Friedrich. George Edmund Varian
American Artist 1865-1923