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 :. | Venus at the Bath | The Peacock Fan | Autumn | The Ring | The Peacock Fan |
Related Artists:Louis XIV sGeorge Dance the Younger
George Dance the Younger (1 April 1741 - 14 January 1825) was an English architect and surveyor. The fifth and youngest son of George Dance the Elder, he came from a distinguished family of architects, artists and dramatists. He was hailed by Sir John Summerson as "among the few really outstanding architects of the century", but few of his buildings remain.
He was educated at the St. Paul's School, London. Aged 17, he was sent to Italy to prepare himself for an architectural career and joined his brother Nathaniel, who was studying painting in Rome. George was a member of academies in Italy, showing much promise as a draughtsman, and much of his later work was inspired by Piranesi, with whom he was acquainted.
He succeeded his father as City of London surveyor and architect on his father's death in 1768, when he was only 27. He had already distinguished himself by designs for Blackfriars Bridge, sent to the 1761 exhibition of the Incorporated Society of Artists.
His earliest London project was the rebuilding of All Hallows-on-the-Wall church in 1767. His first major public works were the rebuilding of Newgate Prison in 1770 and the front of the Guildhall, London. His other London works include the church of St Bartholomew-the-Less (1797). In Bath he largely designed the Theatre Royal, built by John Palmer in 1804-5. Sir John Soane was a pupil.
Many of his buildings have been demolished, including the Royal College of Surgeons, Newgate Prison, St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics, the Shakespeare Gallery in Pall Mall, the library at Lansdowne House, the Common Council Chamber and Chamberlain's Court at the Guildhall, Ashburnham Place, and Stratton Park (demolished save for its Tuscan portico)
With his brother Nathaniel, he was a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768, and its second professor of architecture, from 1798 to 1805. For a number of years, he was the last survivor of the 40 original Academicians.