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 Pompeian Garden | A Classical Beauty | Contemplation | The Old Old Story | Study of Campaspe |
Related Artists:Theodore Gericault
French Romantic Painter, 1791-1824
Born in Rouen, France, Gericault was educated in the tradition of English sporting art by Carle Vernet and classical figure composition by Pierre-Narcisse Gu??rin, a rigorous classicist who disapproved of his student impulsive temperament, but recognized his talent.
The Charging Chasseur, 1812.Gericault soon left the classroom, choosing to study at the Louvre instead, where he copied from paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, Diego Vel??zquez, and Rembrandt for about six years, from 1810 to 1815. There he found a vitality which he preferred to the prevailing school of Neoclassicism.Max, Gabriel Cornelius von
Painter, illustrator and teacher, nephew of (1) Emanuel Max. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (1855-8), and the Akademie der Bildenden K?nste, Vienna (1858-61), and under Karl Theodor von Piloty at the Akademie der Bildenden K?nste, Munich (1863/4-7). He settled in Munich, where he opened a private school of painting in 1869. His paintings and book illustrations of the second half of the 1860s show an affinity with the late Romanticist movement. He illustrated works of German literature by Wieland, Lenau and Schiller, as well as producing illustrations for Goethe's Faust (1867-8; Prague, N.G., Kinsky Palace). As well as literary and even musical sources, religious themes frequently occur in his work, including his first great success, the Crucifixion of St Julie (1867; ex-Sotheby's, London, 1976). In numerous female figures and portraits Max explored the tension between the inner state and the charm of the physical appearance or surroundings of his subjects. His interest in the artistic perception of relationships between physical reality and the spiritual world led him to a study of anthropology and contemporary occultism and mysticism, as in his portraits of the Seer of Prevorst Casilear John William
American Hudson River School Painter, 1811-1893
was an American landscape artist belonging to the Hudson River School. Casilear was born in New York City. His first professional training was under prominent New York engraver Peter Maverick in the 1820s, then with Asher Durand, himself an engraver at the time. Casilear and Durand became friends, and both worked as engravers in New York through the 1830s. By the middle 1830s Durand had become interested in landscape painting through his friendship with Thomas Cole. Durand, in turn, drew Casilear's attention to painting. By 1840 Casilear's interest in art was sufficiently strong to accompany Durand, John Frederick Kensett, and artist Thomas P. Rossiter on a European trip during which they sketched scenes, visited art museums, and fostered their interest in painting. Casilear gradually developed his talent in landscape art, painting in the style that was later to become known as the Hudson River School. By the middle 1850s he had entirely ceased his engraving career in favor of painting full-time. He was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1851, having been an associate member since 1831