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 | Ionian Dancing Girl | In the Tepidarium | Classical Beauty | Mischief |
Related Artists:Cordelia Wilson
Cordelia Wilson (1876-1953)
Portrait painter who was born in Edinburgh in 1741 and returned there to spend his retirement.
He was a pupil of Mengs in Rome, before Mengs left for Madrid in 1761.
He painted "Boswell" in Rome in 1765 which is now in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Willison was in London from 1767 and exhibited at the Scottish Academy between 1767 - 1770, and at the Royal Academy in 1771 and 1772.
He left London for an opulent retirement in Edinburgh around 1784.
Eugene Louis Boudin
(12 July 1824 - 8 August 1898) was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors.
Boudin was a marine painter, and expert in the rendering of all that goes upon the sea and along its shores. His pastels, summary and economic, garnered the splendid eulogy of Baudelaire, and Corot who, gazing at his pictures, said to him, "You are the master of the sky."
Born at Honfleur, France, he worked in a small art shop where Claude Monet displayed his art work Le Havre and Honfleur across the estuary of the Seine. But before old age came on him, Boudin's father abandoned seafaring, and his son gave it up too, having no real vocation for it, though he preserved to his last days much of a sailor's character, frankness, accessibility, and open-heartedness.
In 1835, his family moved to Le Havre, where his father established himself as stationer and frame-maker. He began work the next year as an assistant in a stationery and framing store before opening his own small shop. There he came into contact with artists working in the area and exhibited in his shop the paintings of Constant Troyon and Jean-François Millet, who, along with Jean-Baptiste Isabey and Thomas Couture whom he met during this time, encouraged young Boudin to follow an artistic career. At the age of 22 he abandoned the world of commerce, started painting full-time, and traveled to Paris the following year and then through Flanders. In 1850 he earned a scholarship that enabled him to move to Paris, although he often returned to paint in Normandy and, from 1855, made regular trips to Brittany.
The Beach at Villerville, 1864. Eugene Boudin. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. (Zoomview)
Rivage de Pontrieux, Cotes-du-Nord. 1874. Eugene Boudin.
Landscape with Sunset. 1880-1890. Watercolour. Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Berck, Fishermen at Low TideDutch 17th century masters profoundly influenced him, and on meeting the Dutch painter Johan Jongkind, who already made his mark in French artistic circles, Boudin was advised by his new friend to paint outdoors (en plein air). He also worked with Troyon and Isabey, and in 1859 met Gustave Courbet who introduced him to Charles Baudelaire, the first critic to draw Boudines talents to public attention when the artist made his debut at the 1859 Paris Salon.
In 1856/57 Boudin met the young Claude Monet who spent several months working with Boudin in his studio. The two remained lifelong friends and Monet later paid tribute to Boudines early influence. Boudin joined Monet and his young friends in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, but never considered himself a radical or innovator.
Boudines growing reputation enabled him to travel extensively in the 1870s. He visited Belgium, the Netherlands, and southern France, and from 1892 to 1895 made regular trips to Venice. He continued to exhibit at the Paris Salons, receiving a third place medal at the Paris Salon of 1881, and a gold medal at the 1889 Exposition Universelle. In 1892 Boudin was made a knight of the Legion d'honneur, a somewhat tardy recognition of his talents and influence on the art of his contemporaries.
Late in his life he returned to the south of France as a refuge from ill-health, and recognizing soon that the relief it could give him was almost spent, he returned to his home at Deauville, to die within sight of Channel waters and under Channel skies.