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 :. | In Realms of Fancy | The New Perfume | A Priestess | The Tambourine Girl | A Classical Beauty |
Related Artists:Ignacio Zuloaga
Spanish Painter, 1870-1945
was a Spanish Basque painter, born in Eibar, in the Basque country, near the monastery of Loyola. He was the son of metalworker and damascener Placido Zuloaga and grandson of the organizer and director of the royal armoury in Madrid. In his youth, he drew and worked in his father's workshop. He was educated by the Jesuits in France. His father wanted him to be an architect, and with this objective in mind, he was sent to Rome, where he immediately followed the strong impulse that led him to painting. After only six months' work he completed his first picture, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1890. Continuing his studies in Paris, where he lived for five years, he was strongly influenced by Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Only upon returning to his native land did he find his true style, which is based on the national Spanish tradition embodied in the work of Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Zurbaran, El Greco, and Francisco Goya. Bleeding Christ; or Blood Christ (El cristo de la Sangre) (1911)His own country was slow in acknowledging the young artist whose strong, decorative and rugged style stood in opposition to the styles of well-known modern Spanish artists such as Fortuny, Madrazo, Hans Holbein
Hans Holbein Galleries
Holbein always made highly detailed pencil drawings of his portrait subjects, often supplemented with ink and colored chalk. The drawings emphasize facial detail and usually did not include the hands; clothing was only indicated schematically. The outlines of these drawings were then transferred onto the support for the final painting using tiny holes in the paper through which powdered charcoal was transmitted; in later years Holbein used a kind of carbon paper. The final paintings thus had the same scale as the original drawings. Although the drawings were made as studies for paintings, they stand on their own as independent, finely wrought works of art. How many portraits have been lost can be seen from Holbein's book (nearly all pages in the Royal Collection) containing preparatory drawings for portraits - of eighty-five drawings, only a handful have surviving Holbein paintings, though often copies have survived.
David Hockney has speculated in the Hockney-Falco thesis that Holbein used a concave mirror to project an image of the subject onto the drawing surface. The image was then traced. However this thesis has not met with general acceptance from art historians.
A subtle ability to render character may be noted in Holbein's work, as can be seen in his portraits of Thomas Cromwell, Desiderius Erasmus, and Henry VIII. The end results are convincing as definitive images of the subjects' appearance and personality.Jan van Os
Dutch Painter, 1744-1808