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 | A Priestess | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | Flabellifera | Mischief |
Related Artists:Kusma Petrow-Wodkin
1878-1939Jacob de Backer
(c. 1555 - c. 1585) was a Flemish Mannerist painter and draughtsman active in Antwerp between about 1571 and 1585.
According to the RKD he was born in Antwerp in c.1540/45 and died there c.1591-1600.De Backer was abandoned by his father as a young boy. Carel van Mander reports that the artist studied with Antonio van Palermo and Hendrik van Steenwijk I, but that Palermo worked him so hard that the young de Backer died in the arms of his master's daughter at the age of thirty.
Although the artist painted in the high mannerist style of Giorgio Vasari, he never appeared to travel to Italy. A series of the "Seven Deadly Sins", however, was bought in Antwerp by Alessandro Farnese's secretary Cosimo Masi in 1594 and taken to Italy.These paintings are now in the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples. Other attributable works include a Last Judgment triptych by him or his studio for Christophe Plantin's tomb in the Antwerp Cathedral (c. 1589; illustrated right), and an Allegory of the Three Ages of Man in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
He is not to be confused with the Dutch Golden Age painter Jacob Adriaensz Backer from
Jean Baptiste Weenix