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 :. | Belvedere | A Classical Beauty In Profile | Campaspe | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue | Dolce far Niente |
Related Artists:Kiprensky, Orest
Russian Painter, 1782-1836
Russian painter and draughtsman. The leading Russian portrait painter of the Romantic period, he was the illegitimate son of the landowner A. D'yakonov and was adopted by his serf, Adam Shval'b and granted his freedom at birth. His surname is unconnected with that of either his real or his adoptive father, and its origin is uncertain. In 1798 he was sent to the St Petersburg Academy of Arts, eventually studying history painting under Gabriel-Francois Doyen and Grigory Ugryumov. In 1805 he received an important gold medal for his painting Dmitry Donskoy on the Field of Kulikovo (St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.) and won the right to travel to Italy on a scholarship. He did not, however, do so immediately, because of the tense political situation in Europe. Kiprensky's history painting was in keeping with the patriotic mood of Russian society during the years of the war against Napoleon. William Dyce
Scottish painter, educationalist, theorist and designer. The son of a lecturer in medicine at Marischal College, Aberdeen, he studied medicine and theology, obtaining his Master's degree in 1823. Episcopalian by upbringing, Dyce was expected, like his cousin, the scholar and bibliophile Alexander Dyce (1798-1869), to proceed to Oxford to take orders. His early interest in art found an outlet in portraiture, his first commission being Sir James M. D. M'Grigor (1823; U. Aberdeen). His first attempt at history painting, The Infant Hercules Strangling the Serpents sent by Juno to Destroy Him (1824; Edinburgh, N.G.), much influenced by Reynolds, was shown to Sir Thomas Lawrence, who is said to have encouraged Dyce to enter the Royal Academy Schools in 1825. After a few months he set off for Rome in the company of Alexander Day;Frans Ryckhals
Dutch , ca.1600-1647