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 | Flabellifera | A Classical Beauty In Profile | Endymion | Youth and Time |
Related Artists:Helene Schjerfbeck
Finnish Painter, 1862-1946
.Finnish painter. In 1873 she began to study at the Finnish Art Society drawing school in Helsinki. On the death of her father in 1876, she was forced to seek help to finance her studies. In 1877 she went to the private academy of Adolf von Becker (1831-1909) in Helsinki, and her work was first shown in public in 1879. In the autumn of 1880 she went to Paris to study at the Academie Trelat de Vigne under Leon Bonnat and Jean-Leon Gereme and in 1881 moved to the Academie Colarossi, studying under Gustave Courtois ( fl 1852-1908) and Raphael Collin (1850-1916). In Brittany that summer, she painted a large oil, A Boy Feeding his Little SisterJohn Gadsby Chapman
American Painter, 1808-1889,was an American artist famous for The Baptism of Pocahontas, which was commissioned by the United States Congress and hangs in the United States Capitol rotunda. John Chapman was born in 1808 in Alexandria, Virginia. Chapman began his study of art in Philadelphia for two years, then departed for Europe where he eventually spent time in Italy. In 1831, Chapman returned to his hometown of Alexandria, and exhibited his artwork in the nearest metropolitan areas, such as Washington, D.C., Richmond, and Philadelphia. He specialized in landscapes and portraits. By 1834, Chapman had moved to New York City and become a member of the National Academy of Design, and found work as an illustrator. In New York, Chapman embarked on a series of historic paintings, such as Landing at Jamestown and the Crowning of Powhatan. The success of these paintings helped Chapman land a commission from the United States Congress in February 1837 to paint a historical scene for the rotunda of the Capitol building. For this work, Chapman received a total payment of $10,000. On November 30th, 1840, The Baptism of Pocahontas was formally unveiled in the Capitol rotunda. On the swell of this success, Chapman moved his family to Rome, and made an earnest living selling paintings of rural Campagna to American visitors. However, at the onset of the American Civil War, the tourist industry dried up, affecting Chapman fortunes greatly. In addition, Chapman own son, Conrad Chapman, returned to America to fight on the side of the Confederate States of America. The economic deprivation inflicted on Chapman during the 1860s became insurmountable. In Rome, he was forced to live off the kindness of fellow expatriates, and finally returned to America, sick and poor, to spend his last days with another son, John Linton Chapman, in Brooklyn, New York. It was there, in 1889, that he died a pauper. Walter Shirlaw
Scottish-American artist , 1838-1909
was a Scottish-American artist. Shirlaw was born in Paisley, Scotland, and moved to the United States with his parents in 1840. He worked as a bank-note engraver, and his work was first exhibited at the National Academy in 1861. He was elected an academician of the Chicago Academy of Design in 1868. Among his pupils there was Frederick Stuart Church. From 1870 to 1877 he studied in Munich, under George Raab, Richard Wagner, Arthur George von Ramberg, and Wilhelm Lindenschmidt. His first work of importance was the Toning of the Bell (1874), which was followed by Sheep-shearing in the Bavarian Highlands (1876). The latter, which is probably the best of his works, received honorable mention at the Paris exposition in 1878. Other notable works from his easel are Good Morning (1878), in the Buffalo Academy; Indian Girl and Very Old (1880); Gossip (1884); and Jealousy (1886), owned by the Academy of Design, New York. His largest work is the frieze for the dining-room in the house of Darius O. Mills in New York. Shirlaw has also earned an excellent reputation as an illustrator. He was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists, and was its first president. On his return from Europe he took charge of the Art Students League of New York, and for several years taught in the composition class.