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 :. | Sweet Nothings by Godward | Ionian Dancing Girl | A Priestess | A Fair Reflection | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder |
Related Artists:GRAFF, Anton
Swiss-born German Painter, 1736-1813
Swiss painter, active in Germany. He was a pupil of Johann Ulrich Schellenburg (1709-95) in Winterthur and continued his training with Johann Jakob Haid in Augsburg between 1756 and 1765. He worked for the court painter Leonhard Schneider (1716-62) in Ansbach from 1757 to 1759, producing large numbers of copies of a portrait of Frederick the Great (probably by Antoine Pesne). This was an important step in furthering his career, as were the months he spent in Regensburg (1764-5) painting miniatures of clerics and town councillors. He was court painter to the Elector Frederick-Christian of Saxe-Weimar in Dresden from 1766 and taught at the Hochschule der Bildende Kenste there. In 1771 he travelled to Berlin, where he painted portraits of Jakob Mendelssohn, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and J. G. Sulzer. Sulzer introduced him at court, which resulted in many commissions. He was invited several times to teach at the Akademie der Kenste in Berlin, but he remained in Dresden. He often travelled to Leipzig, and in summer he frequently went to Teplitz Bartholomeus Spranger
Bartholomeus Spranger Gallery
Bartholomeus (Bartholomaeus) Spranger (21 March 1546??August 1611) was a Flemish Mannerist painter, draughtsman, and etcher. He was born in Antwerp.
In 1565, he traveled to Paris and Italy after finishing his studies. He worked on wall paintings in various churches. At Rome, Pope Pius V appointed him court painter in 1570. In 1581 he was appointed to the Prague court of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Hendrik Goltzius made engravings of his paintings, thus increasing Spranger's fame. Spranger's Mannerist paintings depict nudes in various complex poses.
He died in Prague.Francis A.Silva
American Hudson River School Painter, 1835-1886