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 :. | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | A Souvenir | Lesbia with her Sparrow | A Pompeian Lady | An Offering to Venus |
Related Artists:Peeters, Gilles
Flemish, 1612-53Salomon Rombouts
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1650-1702Francois de Troy
French Baroque Era Painter, 1645-1730
was a French painter and engraver who became principal painter to King James II in exile at Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Director of the Academie Royale de peinture et de sculpture. One of a family of artists, Troy was born in Toulouse, the son of Nicolas de Troy (1608 - 15 September 1684), a painter in that city,and was the brother of Jean de Troy (4 April 1638 - 25 June 1691).Troy was taught the basic skills of painting by his father, and perhaps also by the more worldly Antoine Durand. François de Troy is not to be confused with his son, the portrait painter Jean-François de Troy (1679-1752), who studied under him At some time after 1662, Troy went to Paris to study portrait painting under Claude Lefebvre (1633-1675) and Nicolas-Pierre Loir (1624 - C1679]. A. P. F. Robert-Dumesnil states that this occurred when Troy was aged twenty-four. In 1669, Troy married his master Nicolas-Pierre Loir's sister-in-law, Jeanne Cotelle. In 1671, he was approved by the Academie Royale de peinture et de sculpture. In 1674, he was received into the Academy as a history painter, with a reception piece (morceau de reception) entitled Mercure coupant la tete d'Argus ('Mercury cutting off the head of Argus'). Troy's early known works include tapestry designs for Madame de Montespan, one of the many mistresses of Louis XIV of France, and paintings with religious and mythological subjects. In the 1670s, he became friendly with Roger de Piles, who introduced him to Dutch and Flemish painting,