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 Old, Old Story | A Pompeian Lady | Nerissa | Sweet Dreams | Classical Beauty |
Related Artists:Adriaen van ostade
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1610-1685
Painter, draughtsman and etcher. According to Houbraken's rather unreliable biography, he was a pupil concurrently with Adriaen Brouwer of Frans Hals in Haarlem. Hals influenced him very little, whereas Brouwer, who was described as 'known far and wide' as early as 1627, had a decisive influence on the evolution of Adriaen van Ostade's always idiosyncratic portrayal of peasant life. The first documentary mention of Adriaen van Ostade as a painter is in 1632 (Schnackenburg, 1970). Most of his paintings are signed and dated, the earliest firmly dated example being the Peasants Playing CardsMALLET, Jean-Baptiste
French Painter, 1759-1835,French painter. A pupil of Simon Julien in Toulon, he was then taught by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon in Paris. He exhibited at every Salon between 1793 and 1827, obtaining a second class medal in 1812 and a first class medal in 1817. He executed very few portraits (Chenier, Carcassonne, Mus. B.-A., is an exception), preferring to paint nymphs bathing and graceful classical nudes such as the Graces Playing with Cupid (Arras, Abbaye St Vaast, Mus. B.-A.). He established his reputation with gouache genre scenes of fashionable and often libertine subjects, always elegant and refined, in the style of Louis-Philibert Debucourt and Louis-Leopold Boilly, and remarkable for the delicacy and brilliance of their brushwork: for example At the Laundry Maid's and the Painful Letter (both Paris, Mus. Cognacq-Jay). They reveal a knowledge of 17th-century Dutch painting in the treatment of details (transparent crystal, reflections on silk or satin) as well as the choice of themes: Military Gallant (Paris, Mus. Cognacq-Jay). Mallet's meticulously precise paintings are one of the best records of fashionable French furnishings and interiors at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th.Hannah Palmer