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 :. | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue | The Bouquet | A Grecian Lovely | Endymion | The Jewel Casket |
Related Artists:Martin, Henri
French Post-Impressionist Painter, 1860-1943
French painter. After winning the Grand Prix at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse, he moved to Paris (1879) to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts there under Jean-Paul Laurens, who encouraged his interest in Veronese and other Venetian painters. The literary inspiration of his early work was reflected in such paintings as Paolo de Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini in Hell (1883; Carcassonne, Mus. B.-A.) based on Dante, for which he won a medal at the Salon of 1883. During his subsequent study in Rome, however, on a fellowship awarded to him at the Salon,Sir George Clausen,RA
English painter. He was the son of a Danish interior decorator and a woman of Scottish descent. At 14 he was apprenticed to the drawing office of Messrs Trollope, a London firm of decorators. While working there he attended evening classes at the National Art Training School, South Kensington, but his first important artistic contact came when he was sent to decorate a door at the home of the painter Edwin Long. With Long's encouragement, Clausen obtained a two-year scholarship to the South Kensington School of Art and then decided to further his training at the Antwerp Academy. After studying briefly under Professor Joseph Van Lerius (1823-76), he began to sketch in the fishing villages along the Dutch coast; the product of these studiesPercy Gray
was an American painter. Gray was born into a San Francisco family endowed with a broad literary and artistic background. He studied under Arthur Frank Mathews at the San Francisco School of Design and later under William Merritt Chase. While he had some early Impressionistic tendencies, his primary expression was under the Tonalism Mathews had brought back from Paris. He is known for his extraction of beauty from the Northern California landscape. Alexander Gray, Percy's father, was born in England, but found his way to a successful insurance business in San Francisco. As the byproduct of a childhood illness, Percy realized he had talents in art. From 1886 to 1888 he attended the California School of Design, then led by Mathews. From there he went on to become a newspaper illustrator, obtaining a job with the New York Journal. In New York he also studied at the Art Students League. He was dispatched from New York to cover the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, but decided to remain in his native city where he would then take up his painting career. Gray's first pieces, headland seascapes, were exhibited in 1907; soon thereafter he addressed in watercolor eucalyptus groves and fields of California wildflowers. These subjects would become signatures of his work. Originally Gray's works were oils; however, he eventually developed an allergy to oil paints, and therefore switched to using watercolors as his primary medium.  From early on the critics marvelled at his ability to infuse realistic depictions of nature with a mystical and poetic quality. He was clearly applying the precepts of his mentor William Merritt Chase in exaggeration of light and color. From 1912 to 1923 Gray lived in Burlingame, California about twenty miles south of San Francisco, while keeping his studio in the city itself. At the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition he won a bronze medal for his watercolor Out of the Desert, Oregon. Having been a bachelor for 53 years, Gray surprised his friends by marrying. He and his bride moved to the Bonificio Adobe in Monterey, where seascapes and cypress dominated his later works.