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 Ring | Noonday Rest | Ionian Dancing Girl | The Tambourine Girl | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue |
Related Artists:Eugne Joseph Verboeckhoven
(1790-1881), Belgian painter, was born at Warneton in West Flanders, and received instruction in drawing and modelling from his father, the sculptor Barthelemy Verboeckhoven. Subsequently he settled in Brussels and devoted himself almost exclusively to animal subjects.
Shepherd with animals in the countryside
attributed to Eugene Verboeckhoven - private collectionHis paintings of sheep, of horses and of cattle in landscape, somewhat after the manner of Paulus Potter, brought him universal fame, and were eagerly sought for by collectors. Precise and careful finish is the chief quality of his art, which is entirely objective and lacking in inspiration. Verboeckhoven visited England in 1826, Germany in 1828, and France and Italy in 1841, and died at Brussels in 1881. He was a member of the academies of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, St. Petersburg and Amsterdam. Examples of his art are to be found in nearly all the important galleries of Europe and the United States, notably in Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, New York, Boston and Washington D.C.. His long life and ceaseless industry account for the enormous number of his pictures in public and private collections and in the art market. In addition to his painted work he executed some fifty etched plates of similar subjects.
Italian Rococo Era Painter, 1697-1768
Italian painter, etcher and draughtsman. He was the most distinguished Italian view painter of the 18th century. Apart from ten years spent in England he lived in Venice, and his fame rests above all on his views (vedute) of that city; some of these are purely topographical, others include festivals or ceremonial events. He also painted imaginary views (capriccios), although the demarcation between the real and the invented is never quite clearcut: his imaginary views often include realistically depicted elements, though in unexpected surroundings, and in a sense even his Venetian vedute are imaginary. He never merely re-created reality. He was highly successful with the English, helped in this by the British connoisseur JOSEPH SMITH, whose own large collection of Canaletto works was sold to King George III in 1762. The British Royal Collection has the largest group of his paintings and drawings.Baron Francois Gerard
Baron Francois Gerard Galleries
French portrait and historical painter, b. Rome. In Paris, after brief study under Pajou and others, he became a favorite pupil of J. L. David, who influenced such works as Psyche Receiving the Kiss of Cupid and Daphnis and Chloe, both in the Louvre. As a leading portraitist, Gerard was patronized by the court during the Empire and the Bourbon restoration. His portrait of Mme Recamier, of this period, is in the Louvre. Louis XVIII appointed him court painter in 1814. Many examples of his historical paintings are in the Versailles Museum. His portrait of the Countess Regnault de Saint-Jean-d Angely (1798; Louvre) exemplifies his style of studied elegance and meticulous finish.