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 by John William Godward | Study of Campaspe | Lesbia with her Sparrow | The engagement ring | Godward Leaning on the Balcony |
Related Artists:Franz Kruger
Franz Kruger Gallery Helen Allingham,R,W.S
Studies of Flowers
Studies of Flowers .was a well-known watercolour painter and illustrator of the Victorian era. Helen Mary Elizabeth Paterson was born in Swadlincote in Derbyshire, England. Her sister and her father, a doctor, died of diphtheria in 1862, and the rest of the family went to live in Birmingham. In 1867 she went to study art at the "Female School of Art", a section of what became the Royal College of Art in London, and became an illustrator of children's books. She was a great friend of Kate Greenaway. On 22 August 1874, she married William Allingham, who was almost twice her age. At the time, she was employed in illustrating some of the novels of Thomas Hardy, and they were attracted to one another when they met. Helen Allingham illustrated several books, including Six to sixteen: a story for girls (1876), Happy England (1903) and The homes of Tennyson (1905), written with her brother Arthur Paterson. After her marriage to Allingham, she became a watercolour painter, and she was the first woman to become a full member of the Royal Watercolour Society. As well as landscapes, she completed several portraits, including one of Thomas Carlyle.Carel Van der Pluym