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 | Dolce Far Niente | A Priestess | A Priestess | A Grecian Lovely |
Related Artists:Jean-Jacques Monanteuil
France (1785 -1860 ) - Painter
1566-1632, vars rattmatiga dynastiska krav pa den svenska tronen gjorde honom till en livslang fiende med kusinen gustav ll adolf.Clarkson Frederick Stanfield
English Painter, 1793-1867
He is often wrongly referred to as William Clarkson Stanfield. The son of Mary Hoad and James Field Stanfield, an Irish actor and author, he was apprenticed to a heraldic coach painter at the age of 12, but in 1808 he abandoned this and went to sea in a collier. In 1812 he was press-ganged and spent two years on HMS Namur, the guard-ship at Sheerness. After being discharged as the result of an injury in 1814, he joined the merchant navy, sailing to China in the Indiaman Warley in 1815. Soon after his return in 1816 he missed his ship and became a scene painter, first at the Royalty Theatre, Stepney, and then at the Royal Coburg, Lambeth. There he was later joined by David Roberts, who became a lifelong friend, and in 1822 both men were employed as scene painters at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. During the next 12 years Stanfield established himself as the most talented scene painter of his day, causing a sensation with some of his huge moving dioramas such as the scenes of Venice in the pantomine Harlequin and Little Thumb (1831). Meanwhile he was building an equally impressive reputation as an easel painter. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1820 and continued to exhibit there regularly until his death. He was elected ARA in 1832 and RA in 1835.