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 :. | Dolce far Niente | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | The Old, Old Story | Autumn | A Grecian Lovely |
Related Artists:Francesco Zuccarelli
1788). Italian painter and draughtsman, active in England.
Zuccarelli training began in Florence, where he engraved the frescoes by Andrea del Sarto in SS Annunziata. He then studied in Rome under Paolo Anesi and learnt figure drawing from Giovanni Maria Morandi (1622-1717), although in this he never acquired any great skill. His earliest recorded paintings were Mary Magdalene and St Jerome (both untraced), which he contributed to the exhibition of the feast of St Luke in Florence in 1729. He also painted portraits. Around 1730 he moved to Venice and began painting landscapes exclusively. His interest in this field may have led to his becoming acquainted with the Welsh landscape painter Richard Wilson in 1750-51. Wilson painted a lively portrait of him (1751; London, Tate) in exchange for one of Zuccarellis landscapes. Zuccarelli avoided both the topographical type of Venetian view developed by Canaletto and the stormier landscapes of Marco Ricci, adopting instead a decorative landscape style of idealized Italian countryside. His subject-matter was usually unspecific rather than recognizably historical, biblical or mythological. For example, in the early 1740s he executed six paintings purporting to be scenes from the story of Jacob, but the paintings themselves bear few references to it (e.g. Landscape with Two Seated Women Embracing, 1743; Windsor Castle, Berks, Royal Col.).ALTDORFER, Albrecht
German Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1480-1538
Albrecht Altdorfer (c. 1480 near Regensburg ?C 12 February 1538 in Regensburg) was a German painter, printmaker and architect of the Renaissance era, the leader of the Danube School in southern Germany, and a near-contemporary of Albrecht D??rer. He is best known as a significant pioneer of landscape in art.
He most often painted religious scenes, but is mainly famous as the first frequent painter of pure landscape, and also compositions dominated by their landscape. Taking and developing the landscape style of Lucas Cranach the Elder, he shows the hilly landscape of the Danube valley with thick forests of drooping and crumbling firs and larches hung with moss, and often dramatic colouring from a rising or setting sun. His Landscape with footbridge (National Gallery, London) of 1518-20 is claimed to be the first pure landscape in oil.  He also made many fine finished drawings, mostly landscapes, in pen and watercolour. His best religious scenes are intense, sometimes verging on the expressionistic, and often depict moments of intimacy between Christ and his mother, or others. His most famous religious artwork is the The Legend of St. Sebastian and the Passion of Christ that decorated the altar in the St. Florian monastery in Linz, Austria. He often distorts perspective to subtle effect. His donor figures are often painted completely out of scale with the main scene, as in paintings of the previous centuries. He also painted some portraits; overall his painted oeuvre was not large.Jan van Os
Dutch Painter, 1744-1808