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 :. | A Classical Beauty | The Ring by John William Godward | The Betrothed | Chloris A Summer Rose | A Grecian Lovely |
Related Artists:H.Siddons Mowbray
American Painter, 1858-1928SERODINE, Giovanni
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1600-1630
Italian painter and stuccoist. His family moved from Ascona on Lake Maggiore to Rome, where his father is recorded in 1595. It is probable that Serodine was born there. His first work was probably done in association with his brother Giovanni Battista Serodine (1589/90-1630), a stuccoist active in Rome, where he carved a Virgin and Child (1614) for the fa?ade of S Francesca Romana, and in Ascona, where he restored the family home and decorated it with stucco (1620). The design and stucco decoration of the church of the Madonna della Fortuna on Monte Verit? (Ascona) are attributed to him, though it is probable that Giovanni (who is recorded in Ascona in 1620) collaborated in the work. The first of Giovanni's documented official commissions, however, was for the stucco decoration and apsidal paintings in the chuch of the Concezione at Spoleto, where he worked with Sante Ghezzi (Corradini; Toscano). These murals, painted in tempera and completed in July 1624, are sketchy and clumsily executed, quite distinct in their inferior quality and naive piety from the rest of Serodine's work. They are probably his first attempts at painting,Alfred Rethel
1816 Diepenbend/Aachen-1859 Dusseldorf, was a German history painter. Rethel was born in Aachen in 1816. He showed an interest in art in his early life, and at the age of thirteen he executed a drawing which procured his admission to the academy of D??sseldorf. Here he studied for several years, and produced, among other works, a figure of St Boniface, which attracted much attention. At the age of twenty, Rethel moved to Frankfurt, and was selected to decorate the walls of the imperial hall in the Rmer with figures of famous men. At the same period he produced a series of designs illustrative of Old Testament history. Four years later, Rethel was the successful competitor for the work of ornamenting the restored council house of his native city with frescoes depicting prominent events in the career of Charlemagne, but the execution of this work was delayed for some six years. Meanwhile Rethel occupied himself with the production of easel pictures and of drawings. In 1842, he began a striking series of designs dealing with the Crossing of the Alps by Hannibal, in which the weird power which animates his later art becomes first apparent. In 1844 Rethel visited Rome, executing, along with other subjects, an altar-piece for one of the churches of his native land. In 1846, he returned to Aachen, and commenced his Charlemagne frescoes.