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 :. | The New Perfume | Yes or No | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii | By the Wayside | Tranquillity |
Related Artists:Mauritz F H Haas
Dutch (Resident in US)
Johann Ludwig Aberli
Swiss, 1723-1786, Swiss painter, draughtsman and engraver. In 1741 he moved to Berne, where he took drawing lessons with Johann Grimm (1675-1747), whose school of drawing he took over in 1747. He visited the Bernese Oberland with Emanuel Handmann, Christian Georg Schetz (1718-91) and Friedrich Wilhelm Hirt (1721-72) in 1759 and in the same year travelled to Paris with Adrian Zingg (1734-86). This was his only trip abroad, but it determined him to work exclusively as a landscape painter. After nine months he returned to Berne, where his landscape views became popular, particularly with foreign travellers, enamoured of 'Nature' and keen to retain souvenirs of their travels. He was one of the first artists to portray the beauties of the Swiss countryside; his favourite subjects were the Aare Valley and views of Swiss lakes (e.g. View of Erlach on the Lake of Biel; Berne, Kstmus.). He invented a technique known as the 'Aberli style', which consisted of watercolour washes added to an image in which slightly smudged outlines were achieved through a combination of engraving and etching. The prints were made from drawings taken from nature and finished in the studio. His style was characterized by delicate execution, an intimate narrative approach, refined colours and the ability to convey a light and vaporous atmosphere. Aberli's success was such that he had to employ assistants and pupils to aid him in the coloration process; his pupils included Erasmus Ritter, Johann Jakob Biedermann, Marquard Wocher (1760-1830), Gabriel Ludwig Lory the elder (1763-1840) and Peter Birmann. From 1773 to 1775 Aberli also painted a series of costumes in response to tourist demand. Caroline Watson
British 1760-1814,Daughter of James Watson. In 1780 she signed a stipple print of Isaac Watts and was soon employed by John Boydell (e.g. Prince William of Gloucester, 1784, after Joshua Reynolds). In 1785 she became Engraver to Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), a keen print collector. She was particularly fitted to working after miniatures, such was the delicacy of her engraving, and some of her best prints are portraits and small subjects after Samuel Shelley (c. 1750-1808). She did private commissions of this kind, notably for the Bute family, and also engraved large plates, some for the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, including the Death of Cardinal Beaufort (1792) after Reynolds, allegedly at his request. She was employed by William Hayley (1745-1820) on his Life of George Romney Esq (London, 1809), and the correspondence involved shows her as a reliable and respected professional.