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 :. | Lesbia with her Sparrow | A Quiet Pet | A Grecian Lovely | Erato at Her Lyre | Nerissa |
Related Artists:Luca Gordano
Italian Baroque Era Painter, ca.1634-1705Michiel Sweerts
(29 September 1618-1664), also known as Michael Sweerts, was a Flemish painter of the Baroque period, active in Rome (1645-1656) in the style of the Bamboccianti. The Bamboccianti were known for depicting genre scenes of daily life, but Sweerts's contributions to this genre display greater stylistic mastery and social-philosophical sensitivity than many of his colleagues in this "school." Highly successful in Rome during his years there, Sweerts's reputation suffered a severe collapse not long after his death, lasting centuries; but thanks especially to the 2002 international monographic exhibition devoted entirely to him, Michael Sweerts: 1618-1664, he has begun once again to enjoy the esteem his work clearly merits.
Born in Brussels, he arrived in Rome in 1646, and rapidly moved into the circle of Flemish painters associated with Pieter van Laer (leader of the so-called Bamboccianti painters) and that resided near Santa Maria del Popolo. In 1647, he attended meetings of the Accademia di San Luca, although not as a member. Despite the fragmentary nature of evidence pertaining to his career in Rome and the post-mortem eclipse of his reputation, we know that Sweerts succeeded in creating for himself a sufficiently exalted reputation in the city so as to enter into the service of the ruling papal family itself, the Pamphilj, more specifically, Camillo Pamphilj, nephew of reigning Pope Innocent X who, at the encouragement of Camillo, bestowed upon Sweerts the papal title of Cavaliere di Cristo, the same honor enjoyed by the likes of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini. Despite working in the highest echelons of papal patronage in Rome, sometime between 1652 and 1654, for reasons unknown Sweerts left the Eternal City and returned to the North, and by 1656, he had returned to Brussels, where he joined the painter's guild. He joined the Paris Foreign Missions Society as a lay brother and became a devout Christian. In 1658 he made the guild a self portrait as a farewell gift and moved to Amsterdam, where he would oversee the building of a ship for travel with the aforementioned Missions Étrangeres to Palestine.Thomas Luny
(1759-1837), born in Cornwall, probably at St Ewe, was an English artist and painter, mostly of seascapes and other marine-based works. At the age of eleven, Luny left Cornwall to live in London. There he became the apprentice of Francis Holman, a marine painter who would have a great and long lasting artistic influence on Luny: Luny remained until 1780 in Holman's London studio, which, was first situated in Broad Street, St. George, and later relocated to Old Gravel Lane.
In September 1777, Luny left Holman's studio for a while, to journey to France. During this particular expedition, Luny almost certainly strayed from France itself; his first exhibited picture in London, seen at the Society of Artists that same year, was given the title A distant view of the island of Madeira and Porto Santo, suggesting that an engraving had inspired his choice of subject. Similarly, it is unlikely that Luny was on hand for the Battle of the Nile, 1798, and the bombardment of Algiers, 1816, both of which he illustrated with dramatic atmosphere and credible realism.
After leaving Holman's studio in 1780, Luny moved to Leadenhall Street during 1783. It was around this time that Luny was frequently exhibiting at the Royal Academy, in a total of twenty-nine exhibitions between 1780 and 1802. In Leadenhall Street, Luny became acquainted with a "Mr. Merle", a dealer and framer of paintings who promoted Luny's paintings for over twenty years, to great success. Luny also found a wealthy source of business in Leadenhall Street, where the British East India Company had their headquarters; their officers commissioned many paintings and portraits from Luny. This relationship between the Company and Luny also had several non-monetary benefits for Luny; it seems probable that, considering the great detail and realistic look of many of his sketches of locations such as Naples, Gibraltar, and Charleston, South Carolina, Luny was occasionally invited as a guest on the Company's ships on special occasions and voyages.