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 :. | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | The Mirror | Idle Thoughts | Idle Thoughts | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue |
Related Artists:Anselm Feuerbach
Anselm Feuerbach Location
German painter. He studied in Germany, Paris, and Rome, spending much of his life in Italy. He sought to produce works of pure classicism that were both didactic and idealistic. Most of his famous works belong to his Roman period (1856?C73), including Battle of the Amazons (Nuremberg), Iphigenia (Stuttgart), and Medea (Munich). His portraits have withstood critical opinion better than his history paintings. His autobiography (1882) emphasizes his misunderstood genius. Samuel J.Reader
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1599-1664
Flemish painter, active in Italy. Miel must have arrived in Rome in the early 1630s; he immediately came under the influence of Pieter van Laer (il Bamboccio) and the BAMBOCCIANTI. His earliest paintings of bambocciate (low-life scenes) are the Bowls Players (1633; Paris, Louvre) and its companion piece The Cobbler (Besan?on, Mus. B.-A. & Arch?ol.). Shortly after his arrival in Rome, Miel joined the Schildersbent, a confraternity of Netherlandish artists, and was given the nickname 'Bieco' ('threatening look'). His presence in Rome is documented from 1636 to 1658, when he moved to Turin and entered the service of Charles-Emanuel II, Duke of Savoy. Other early paintings that can be attributed to the 1630s include Halt at the Inn (Marseille, Mus. B.-A.) and Hunters' Rest (Warsaw, N. Mus.). Both are reworkings, in their subject-matter and composition, of contemporary paintings by van Laer, such as his Hunters Resting (Florence, Uffizi) and Halt at the Inn (Paris, Louvre).