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 :. | The Jewel Casket | Summer Flowers | A Priestess | A Classical Beauty | Erato at Her Lyre |
Related Artists:David Gilmour Blythe
(May 9, 1815 - May 15, 1865) was a self-taught American artist best known for paintings which satirically portrayed political and social situations.
Blythe was born in East Liverpool, Ohio on May 9, 1815 to poor parents of Scottish and Irish ancestry. After a childhood in a log cabin by the Ohio River, at the age of 16, Blythe moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There he apprenticed himself to woodcarver Joseph Woodwell. In his subsequent work as an itinerant portrait painter, Blythe traveled widely from Baltimore to Philadelphia and perhaps as far as New Orleans. Other than his stint with Woodwell, Blythe had no known artistic education or training.Tait Arthur Fitzwilliam
English-born American Painter, 1819-1905
American painter and lithographer of English birth. He spent the first three decades of his life in England and arrived in New York in 1850. Steeped in admiration for the subjects of Edwin Landseer and the style of the Pre-Raphaelites, he established himself as a realistic painter of animals and sporting scenes. For his images of Western hunters and trappers, he used as sources the works of George Catlin and William Ranney, artists who, unlike himself, had travelled extensively. He established a summer studio at a camp in the Adirondack Mountains, where he painted sporting scenes. These wilderness scenes, often composed around an anecdote, appealed to a wide popular audience, and from 1852 Currier & Ives as well as Louis Prang published a number of lithographs and chromolithographs of his work. Tait also composed still-lifes of game birds and, in his later career, barnyard scenes of sheep and chickens. His painting A Tight Fix: Bear Hunting in Early WinterLouis Hayet
French, 1864-1940.French painter and writer. He was largely self-taught and initially earned his living as an itinerant painter-decorator. In 1881 he met Lucien and Camille Pissarro while painting landscapes near Pontoise and through them met Paul Signac in 1885 and Seurat in 1886. After a years military service at Versailles, Hayet moved to Paris in the autumn of 1887. There he began to apply to his paintings Eug?ne Chevreuls theories of colour contrast with which he had become familiar by 1881. A gifted watercolour painter, he also experimented with the ancient technique of wax encaustic, painting on a prepared cotton that allowed light to filter through. The paint surface of works such as The Grange (Beauchamp, France, priv. col., see 1983 Pontoise exh. cat., no. 1) retains a vivid tonal freshness, while the subject of crowds of peasants gathered before the Paris agricultural market reveals a debt to Pissarro. During the second half of the 1880s he became obsessed with the notion of passage