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 :. | Drusilla | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | Sweet Nothings by Godward | Chloris A Summer Rose | A Priestess |
Related Artists:Abraham van der Hecken
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, active 1635-1655Luis Menendez
1716-1780. a Spanish painter
was a Spanish painter. Although he received little acclaim during his lifetime and died in poverty, Melendez is recognized today as the greatest Spanish still-life painter of the eighteenth century. His mastery of composition and light, and his remarkable ability to convey the volume and texture of individual objects enabled him to transform the most mundane of kitchen fare into powerful images. Luis Egidio Melendez de Rivera Durazo y Santo Padre was born in Naples in 1716. His father, Francisco Melendez de Rivera Diaz (1682- after 1758), was a miniaturist painter from Oviedowho had moved to Madrid with his older brother, the portrait painter Miguel Jacinto Melendez (1679-1734) in pursuit of artistic instruction.Whereas Miguel remained in Madrid to study and became a painter in the court of Philip V, Francisco left for Italy in 1699 to seek greater artistic exposure. Francisco took a special interest in visiting the Italian academies and settled in Naples where he married Maria Josefa Durazo y Santo Padre Barrille.Luis was a year old when his father, who had been a soldier in a Spanish garrison and lived abroad for almost two decades, returned to Madrid with the family. Luis Egidio, his brother Jos' Agusten, and Ana, one of his sisters, began their careers under the tutelage of their father, who was appointed the King's Painter of Miniatures in 1725.After several years, in his words: painting royal portraits in jewels and bracelets to serve as gifts for envoys and ambassadors, he entered the workshop of Louis Michel van Loo (1707-1771), a Frenchman who had been made royal painter of Philip V of Spain. Between 1737 to 1742, Melendez worked as a part of a team of artist dedicated to copying van Loo's prototypes of royal portraits for the domestic and overseas market, but at least he had a foothold in the palace. He had his artistic sights on a distinguished career as a court painter. When the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando was provisionally inaugurated in 1744, his father, Francisco, was made an honorary director of painting and Luis was among the first students to be admitted, he achieved outstanding results in drawing. The Academy was progressive in that it not only tolerated but also encouraged the 'lesser' genres, including still life. At this time, he was already an accomplished painter as proved by his superb self-portrait at the Louvre signed in 1747. However, this opportunity was marred by a petty quarrel; Luis' father, Francisco, openly attacked the director of the Academy and claimed for himself the honor of being the founder. He had his son Luis personally delivered the inflammatory material to the Academy. Francisco was relieved of his teaching position and Luis was formally expelled from the Academy on June 15, 1748. Unlike his father, Luis professional status was precarious.Philipe Mercier
Philippe Mercier (also known as Philip Mercier) (Berlin, 1689 - London, 18 July 1760) was a French painter and etcher, who lived principally and was active in England. He was born in Berlin of French extraction, the son of a Huguenot tapestry-worker. He studied painting at the Akademie der Wissenschaften of Berlin and later under Antoine Pesne, who had arrived in Berlin in 1710. Later, he traveled in Italy and France before arriving in Londone"recommended by the Court at Hannover"eprobably in 1716. He married in London in 1719 and lived in Leicester Fields.
He was appointed principal painter and librarian to the Prince and Princess of Wales at their independent establishment in Leicester Fields, and while he was in favor he painted various portraits of the Royalties, and no doubt many of the nobility and gentry. Of the Royal portraits, those of the Prince of Wales and of his three sisters, painted in 1728, were all engraved in mezzotint by Jean Pierre Simon, and that of the three elder children of the Prince of Wales by the John Faber Junior in 1744. This last was a typical piece of Mercier's composition, the children being made the subject of a spirited, if somewhat childish, allegory in their game of play. Prince George is represented with a firelock on his shoulder, teaching a dog his drill, while his little brother and sister are equally occupied in a scene that is aptly used to point a patriotic moral embodied in some verses subjoined to the plate