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 :. | Does He Love me | By the Wayside | Lesbia with her Sparrow | Autumn | Noonday Rest |
Related Artists:Master of the Saint Ursula Legend
Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, active 1475-1500Guglielmo Ciardi
Italian, 1842-1917Mariotto Albertinelli
(October 13, 1474 - November 5, 1515) was a High Renaissance Italian painter of the Florentine school, closely involved with Fra Bartolomeo and influenced by Raphael.
He was born in Florence.
Already as a 12-year old boy, he became a pupil of Cosimo Rosselli, and a fellow-pupil with Fra Bartolomeo with whom he formed such an intimate brotherly rapport that in 1494 the two started their own studio in Florence. Vasari's opinion was that Mariotto was not so well grounded in drawing as Bartolomeo, and he tells that, to improve his hand he had taken to drawing the antiquities in the Medici garden, where he was encouraged by Madonna Alfonsina, the mother of Duke Lorenzo II de' Medici. When the Medici were temporarily banished in 1494, he returned to his friend, whose manner he copied so assiduously, according to Vasari, that his works were taken for Baccio's. When, in the wake of Savonarola's morality campaign, Baccio joined the Dominican order as Fra Bartolomeo in 1500 and gave up painting, Albertinelli, beside himself with the loss, would have joined him; but, spurred by his success in completing an unfinished Last Judgment of Bartolomeo's, he resolved to carry on alone. Among his many students were Jacopo da Pontormo, Innocenzo di Pietro Francucci da Imola and Giuliano Bugiardini.
Mariotto was a most restless person and carnal in the affairs of love and apt to the art of living, and, taking a dislike to the studies and brain-wracking necessary to painting, being also often stung by the tongues of other painters, as is their way, he resolved to give himself to a less laborious and more jovial profession, and so opened the most lovely hostelry outside the Porta San Gallo, and at the sign of the Dragon at the Ponte Vecchio a tavern and inn. This life he led for many months, saying that he had taken up an art that was without muscles, foreshortening or perspective and, better still, without faultfinding, and that the art that he had given up imitated flesh and blood, but this one created flesh and blood; in this if you had good wine you heard yourself praised, but in that every day you were blamed. But at last the low life became an annoyance to him, and, filled with remorse, he returned to painting.