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 Old Old Story | On the Balcony | Pompeian Lady | The Belvedere | A Quiet Pet detail |
Related Artists:Hieronymus Bosch
Netherlandish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1450-1516, Flemish painter. His surname was originally van Aeken; Bosch refers to 's Hertogenbosch, where he was born and worked. Little is known of his life and training, although it is clear that he belonged to a family of painters. His paintings, executed in brilliant colors and with an uncanny mastery of detail, are filled with strangely animated objects, bizarre plants and animals, and monstrous, amusing, or diabolical figures believed to have been suggested by folk legends, allegorical poems, moralizing religious literature, and aspects of late Gothic art. Such works as the Garden of Earthly Delights (Prado) appear to be intricate allegories; their symbolism, however, is obscure and has consistently defied unified interpretation. Bosch clearly had an interest in the grotesque, the diabolical, the exuberant, and the macabre. He also may have been the first European painter to depict scenes of everyday life, although often with a strong element of the bizarre. King Philip II of Spain collected some of his finest creations. The Temptation of St. Anthony (Lisbon) and The Last Judgment were recurring themes. Other examples of his art may be seen in the Escorial and in Brussels. Examples of the Adoration of the Magi are in the Metropolitan Museum and in the Philadelphia Museum, which also has the Mocking of Christ. Bosch, who deeply influenced the work of Peter Bruegel the Elder, was hailed in the 20th cent. as a forerunner of the surrealists, and his work continues to influence many contemporary artists. Francesco Curradi
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1570-1661
son of Taddeo Curradi. He produced many devotional works and had a large clientele. At their best, the works are distinguished by lucid draughtsmanship, simple compositions and elegant, melancholy figures. Curradi was trained in the studio of Giovan Battista Naldini and in 1590 matriculated from the Accademia del Disegno, Florence. His first independent works include a Virgin and Child with Saints (1597; Volterra, S Lino) and a Birth of the Virgin (1598; Volterra Cathedral), both signed and dated. These paintings reflect the new clarity and directness introduced into Florentine painting by such artists as Santi di Tito and Jacopo Ligozzi. Subsequent works include a Crucifixion (1600) and a Virgin and Saints (1602; both Legnaia, S Angelo). In these the influence of Naldini yielded to that of Lodovico Cigoli and his circle, while the mildness of expression in the figures was inspired by Domenico Passignano. An album of 87 red chalk drawings, with scenes from the Life of St Mary Magdalene dei Pazzi (1606; Florence, convent of the Carmelites at Careggi) distinguished by their precision and clear, characteristically Florentine compositions, contributed to the iconography of this popular Counter-Reformation saint. In 1607 Curradi was commissioned to portray her mortal remains, and this painting, together with the 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.