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 :. | Sweet Dreams | Endymion | Sweet Nothings by Godward | Ionian Dancing Girl | The Bouquet |
Related Artists:Charles M Russell
American Painter, 1864-1926
American painter and sculptor. In 1880 he left his upper-class home in St Louis for Montana Territory. He worked briefly on a sheep ranch, spent two years as a hunter's and trapper's assistant and then became a cowboy. During his considerable spare daytime hours he painted, sketched and modelled small animal figures in clay (e.g. Antelope, 1915; Fort Worth, TX, Amon Carter Mus.). Although he painted a few exceptional oils and watercolours prior to 1900, the vast majority of his best work was done in the last two decades of his life. Typically the subject-matter centres around cowboy life (e.g. Wagon Boss, 1909; Tulsa, OK, Gilcrease Inst. Amer. Hist. & A.) and the Plains Indians, for whom he had great respect. The luminous Piegans (1918; Denver, CO, Mus. W. A.), with its depiction of the Plains Indians, is a reminder of the vastness of the American West. Russell's sense of humour and empathy for his subject-matter radiates from his paintings as pleasingly as do the clear colours of the high country. His bronze sculptures (e.g. Buffalo Hunt, 1905; Denver, CO, Mus. W. A.) depict the same dramatic and tension-packed themes as his paintings.Frans Wilhelm Odelmark
painted Canale Grande - Venice in 1849-1937Vasilii Polenov