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 Peacock Fan | The Peacock Fan | Erato at Her Lyre | Drusilla | Study of Campaspe |
Related Artists:James matthews
MASTER of the Life of the Virgin
German Northern Renaissance Painter, active 1460-1480George Henry Durrie
American Painter, 1820-1863,American painter. Durrie and his older brother John (1818-98) studied sporadically from 1839 to 1841 with the portrait painter Nathaniel Jocelyn. From 1840 to 1842 he was an itinerant painter in Connecticut and New Jersey, finally settling permanently in New Haven. He produced c. 300 paintings, of which the earliest were portraits (e.g. Self-portrait, 1839; Shelburne, VT, Mus.); by the early 1850s he had begun to paint the rural genre scenes and winter landscapes of New England that are considered his finest achievement. His landscapes, for example A Christmas Party (1852; Tulsa, OK, Gilcrease Inst. Amer. Hist. & A.), are characterized by the use of pale though cheerful colours and by the repeated use of certain motifs: an isolated farmhouse, a road placed diagonally leading the eye into the composition, and a hill (usually the West or East Rocks, New Haven) in the distance. By the late 1850s Durrie's reputation had started to grow, and he was exhibiting at prestigious institutions, such as the National Academy of Design. In 1861 the firm of Currier & Ives helped popularize his work by publishing prints of two of his winter landscapes,