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 :. | Erato at Her Lyre | The Old Old Story | Summer Flowers | A Grecian Lovely | Sweet Nothings by Godward |
Related Artists:Thomas Frye
The Anglo-Irish painter Thomas Frye (c. 1710 - 3 April 1762 best known for his portraits in oil and pastel, including some miniatures and his early mezzotint engravings, was also the patentee of the Bow porcelain factory, London, and claimed in his epitaph to be "the inventor and first manufacturer of porcelain in England," though his rivals at the Chelsea porcelain factory seem to have preceded him in bringing wares to market. The Bow porcelain works did not long survive Frye's death; their final auctions took place in May 1764.
Thomas Frye was born at Edenderry, County Offaly, Ireland, in 1710; in his youth he went to London to practice as an artist. His earliest work are a pair of pastel portraits of boys, one dated 1734 (Earl of Iveagh). For the Worshipful Company of Saddlers he painted a full-length portrait of Frederick, Prince of Wales (1736, destroyed 1940), which he engraved in mezzotint and published in 1741. With his silent partner, a London merchant Edward Heylyn, he took out a patent on kaolin to be imported from the English colony of Virginia in November 1745, and became manager of the Bow factory from its obscure beginnings in the 1740s. He retired to Wales in 1759 for the sake of his lungs, but soon returned to London and resumed his occupation as an engraver, publishing the series of life-size fancy portraits in mezzotint, by which he is most remembered. He died of consumption on 2 April 1762.
Frye had five children; his two daughters assisted him in painting porcelain at Bow until their marriages. One of them, who married a Mr. Willcox, was employed by Josiah Wedgwood at the Wedgwood Etruria works in painting figure-subjects from 1759 to 1776, the year of her death.Frederic james Shields,ARWS
Spanish Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1440-1507