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 :. | He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not | At the Gate of the Temple | Mischief | The Mirror | Priestess |
Related Artists:Helmer Osslund
Swedish, 1866-1938Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto
Italian Tintoretto Galleries
The real name of Tintoretto was Jacopo Robusti, but he is better known by his nickname, meaning the "little dyer, " his father having been a silk dyer. The artist was born in Venice and lived there all his life. Even though his painting is distinguished by great daring, he seems to have led a rather retired life, concerned only with his work and the well-being of his family. His daughter Marietta and his sons Domenico and Marco also became painters, and Domenico eventually took over the direction of Tintoretto's large workshop, turning out reliable but un-inspired pictures in the manner of his father. Some of them are, on occasion, mistaken for works of the elder Tintoretto.
Tintoretto appears to have studied with Bonifazio Veronese or Paris Bordone, but his true master, as of all the great Venetian painters in his succession, was Titian. Tintoretto's work by no means merely reflects the manner of Titian. Instead he builds on Titian's art and brings into play an imagination so fiery and quick that he creates an effect of restlessness which is quite opposed to the staid and majestic certainty of Titian's statements. If Tintoretto's pictures at first sight often astonish by their melodrama, they almost inevitably reveal, at closer observation, a focal point celebrating the wonders of silence and peace. The sensation of this ultimate gentleness, after the first riotous impact, is particularly touching and in essence not different from what we find (although brought about by very different means) in the pictures of Titian and Paolo Veronese.
Tintoretto was primarily a figure painter and delighted in showing his figures in daring foreshortening and expansive poses. His master in this aspect of his art was Michelangelo. Tintoretto is supposed to have inscribed on the wall of his studio the motto: "The drawing of Michelangelo and the color of Titian." Unlike Michelangelo, however, Tintoretto worked and drew very quickly, using only lights and shadows in the modeling of his forms, so that his figures look as if they had gained their plasticity by a kind of magic. In the rendering of large compositions he is reported to have used as models small figures which he made of wax and placed or hung in boxes so cleverly illuminated that the conditions of light and shade in the picture he was painting would be the same as those in the room in which it was to be hung.George Spencer
painted Hazy Afternoon in 19th Century