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 :. | Le Billet Doux | La Pensierosa | A Classical Beauty | Venus at the Bath | Dolce far Niente or Sweet Nothings |
Related Artists:Jean-Victor Schnetz
1787-1870,was a French academic painter well-regarded for his historical and genre paintings. Schnez studied in Paris under Jacques-Louis David. His works can be found at the Louvre and the Petit Palais in Paris, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, and the Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco. In 1837 Schnetz was elected to the Academie des Beaux-Arts, and he was twice the Director of the French Academy in Rome, from 1841-1846 then again in 1853-1866 Aleksander Gierymski
Warsaw 1850-1901 Rome, Brother of Maks Gierymski. He studied (1867) at the Warsaw Drawing Class, then (1868-73) at the Akademie der Bildenden Kenste in Munich under Georg Hiltensperger (1806-90) and Alexander Strehuber (1814-82), and later under Karl Theodor von Piloty. While in Munich he contributed illustrations to Polish, German and Austrian magazines. On a visit to Venice and Verona in 1871 he was especially impressed by the work of 15th-century Venetian artists; this new enthusiasm was reflected in his prize-winning painting of a subject set by the Munich Akademie, a scene from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (1872; destr., see Starzynski, pl. 4). After accompanying his dying brother Maks to various spa towns and other locations, he settled in Rome in mid-1874. Two genre scenes from this period, Roman Tavern and A Game of Mora (both 1874; Warsaw, N. Mus.), show the influence of Dutch painting. Gierymski remained in Italy until 1879, mostly resident in Rome. Giacomo Bassano