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 :. | Flabellifera | Venus at the Bath | Godward Leaning on the Balcony | Tranquillity | Belvedere |
Related Artists:Jean Baptiste Oudry
French Baroque Era Painter, 1686-1755
French painter. He was the principal animal painter and one of the foremost decorative painters during the first half of Louis XVs reign. After initial training as a portrait painter, he concentrated on still-lifes; by the 1720s he had also begun to establish himself as a specialist in hunting scenes, game-pieces and portraits of animals. He ran an active workshop, often keeping his best originals for years and selling copies and (more or less autograph) variants. In the 1730s he was most active as a tapestry designer, making numerous designs for the royal tapestry works of Beauvais and the Gobelins, and he continued to produce his brilliantly painted hunts, still-lifes and studies of animals and birds to the end of his career.C.R. Leslie
English genre painter , 1794-1859
was an American artist best known for his cartoons and caricatures of actors and other celebrities. Though his work was heavily in demand through the 1920s and is often considered to epitomize the era, his personal life was troubled by mental illness, and he was nearly forgotten soon after his suicide, shortly before his fortieth birthday. English genre painter, was born in London on 19 October 1794. His parents were American, and when he was five years of age he returned with them to their native country. They settled in Philadelphia, where their son was educated and afterwards apprenticed to a bookseller. He was, however, mainly interested in painting and the drama, and when George Frederick Cooke visited the city he executed a portrait of the actor from recollection of him on the stage, which was considered a work of such promise that a fund was raised to enable the young artist to study in Europe. He left for London in 1811, bearing introductions which procured for him the friendship of West, Beechey, Allston, Coleridge and Washington Irving, and was admitted as a student of the Royal Academy, where he carried off two silver medals. At first, influenced by West and Fuseli, he essayed high art, and his earliest important subject depicted Saul and the Witch of Endor; but he soon discovered his true aptitude and became a painter of cabinet-pictures, dealing, not like those of David Wilkie, with the contemporary life that surrounded him, but with scenes from the great masters of fiction, from Shakespeare and Cervantes, Addison and Moliere, Swift, Sterne, Fielding and Smollett. Of individual paintings we may specify Sir Roger de Coverley going to Church (1819); May-day in the Time of Queen Elizabeth (1821); Sancho Panza and the Duchess (1824); Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman (1831); La Malade Imaginaire, act iii. sc. 6 (1843); and the Dukes Chaplain Enraged leaving the Table, from Don Quixote (1849). Arthur Melville
British Painter, 1858-1904, Scottish painter. He was trained in Edinburgh under James Campbell Noble (1846-1913) and at the Royal Scottish Academy Schools. His early works are peasant subjects in a subdued tonal style. While at the Acad?mie Julian in Paris and at Grez-sur-Loing (1878-81) he developed a colouristic watercolour style with strong chiaroscuro. This was consolidated during his journey in 1881 to Egypt and Constantinople, and on trips between 1890 and 1893 to Spain (with Frank Brangwyn) and North Africa. Contrasts of strong sunlight and coloured shadows were created in his 'blottesque' technique of colour droplets on paper saturated with Chinese white: sponge and brushwork were used to clarify form, as in Little Bullfight: 'Bravo Toro' (c. 1888-9; London, V&A). He was associated with the Glasgow Boys and influenced their development of colour and design. His closest contact with them came during outdoor sketching trips in Scotland between 1882 and 1889, and in Paris in 1886 and 1889. In 1886 he became an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy and developed a strongly decorative oil style, seen in Audrey and her Goats (1884-9; London, Tate).