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 :. | Reverie | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii | The Ring | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder |
Related Artists:Gian Emilio Malerba
(1880 -1926 ) - PainterMadeleine Lemaire
Nils Schillmark (1745-1804)Aliases: Nils Schillmarch; Nils Schillmarck; Nils SkiellmarkProfessions: Portrait painter; Landscape painter; Painter.
(b Skellefteå, northern Sweden, 1745; d 1804). Finnish painter of Swedish birth. The son of a crofter, he was apprenticed in Stockholm to Pehr Fjellström, an artist and military officer. It is possible that Schillmark also studied at the Swedish Royal Academy of Art. He accompanied Fjellström on journeys to Finland and eventually moved there in 1773, first staying in Viaborg, the fortress situated off the shore near Helsinki, and later moving to the mainland and settling in Helsinki. In 1777 he began to receive commissions for portraits, and from then on he spent most of his life as a travelling portrait painter. His sitters came from both the bourgeoisie and the landed gentry, but they were widely spread across southern and western Finland. Occasionally Schillmark also received other kinds of commissions, for example for an altarpiece for the old stone church in Hattula (in situ). From 1787 Schillmark lived permanently in the town of Loviisa, but he continued to tour the estates of the neighbouring countryside. His only landscape paintings to have been preserved are from this year and show the town of Heinola and its new residence for the governor of the Uusimaa and Häme districts. A few years later Schillmark produced a number of still-life paintings for this building. It is possible that he spent some time in Stockholm during this period.