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 | The Melody, circa | Flabellifera | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | A Fair Reflection |
Related Artists:VERNET, Claude-Joseph
French Painter, 1714-1789
Painter. Vernet probably received his first lessons in painting from his father, Antoine, who then encouraged him to move to the studio of Philippe Sauvan (1697-1792), the leading master in Avignon. Sauvan supplied altarpieces to local churches and decorative works and mythologies for grand houses in the area. After this apprenticeship Vernet worked in Aix-en-Provence with the decorative painter Jacques Viali ( fl 1681- 1745), who also painted landscapes and marine pictures. In 1731 Vernet independently produced a suite of decorative overdoors for the h?tel of the Marquise de Simiane at Aix-en-Provence; at least two of these survive (in situ) and are Vernet's earliest datable landscapes. These are early indications of his favoured type of subject, and Vernet would have studied works attributed to such 17th-century masters as Claude Lorrain, Gaspard Dughet and Salvator Rosa in private collections at Aix and Avignon. Three years later Joseph de Seytres, Marquis de Caumont, who had previously recommended Vernet to the Marquise de Simiane, offered to sponsor a trip to Italy. Jean Decourt
Jean de Court, an enamel painter of Limoges, succeeded François Clouet as painter to the king in 1572, and was in turn succeeded by his son, Charles de Court, in 1584 or 1589. Jean de Court painted in 1574 a portrait of Henry III, then Duke of Anjou.CERUTI, Giacomo
Italian Painter, 1698-1767
Italian painter. He was one of a group of artists working in Bergamo and Brescia who observed reality with an unusual freshness and directness. He painted religious subjects and portraits but was most distinguished as a painter of genre and low-life scenes. These included many pictures of beggars and vagabonds ( pitocchi), hence his nickname 'il Pitocchetto'. He married in Milan in 1717 but settled in Brescia in 1721. In 1723 he received a horse in payment for three altarpieces and four frescoes for the parish church of Rino di Sonico; they were mediocre works executed in an unadventurous blend of Lombard and Venetian traditions derived from contemporary Venetian painters working in Brescia. Ceruti's early portraits and genre scenes are less conventional and more intensely felt; in 1724 he signed and dated the strikingly naturalistic portrait of Giovanni Maria Fenaroli