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 :. | Idle Thoughts | A Priestess | Campaspe | The Jewel Casket | A Priestess |
Related Artists:Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert
a fine arts painter
Canadian , 1879-1946
French painter (1683-1757)
French painter active in Prussia. He studied with his father, the portrait painter Thomas Pesne (1653-1727), and with his maternal great-uncle, Charles de La Fosse. In 1703, as a pupil at the Academie Royale, he would have won the Prix de Rome with his Moses and the Daughters of Jethro (untraced), had not Jules Hardouin Mansart, adviser to the Academie, deemed all entries that year unworthy. Nevertheless Pesne left for Italy, making the acquaintance of Jean Raoux in Venice and being allowed the use of a studio in Rome by Charles Porson, Director of the Academie de France. While in Venice, Pesne painted the portrait of Friedrich Ernst von Knyphausen Henry de Groux
Henry de Groux (1866 in Brussels - 1930 in Marseilles) was a Belgian Symbolist painter, sculptor and lithographer. His 1889 painting Christ aux Outrages, widely described as his masterwork, depicted Jesus being attacked by a mob. Later in life, he produced many works depicting the horrors of the First World War.
Ride of the Valkyries (ca. 1890)
Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels, BelgiumDe Groux was a member of les XX, but was expelled when he refused to have his works displayed in the same gallery as Vincent van Gogh. He subsequently moved to Paris, where he befriended Emile Zola; during the social unrest resulting from the Dreyfus affair, de Groux acted as one of Zola's bodyguards.
As well, de Groux was a fervent diarist; beginning in 1892, he produced 18 volumes detailing the life of a European artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 2002, his descendants donated these volumes to the Institut national d'histoire de l'art; selected excerpts were published in 2007 Henry de Groux 1866-1930 - journal - Henry De Groux, Rodolphe Rapetti, Pierre Wat - Editions Kime.