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 :. | A Priestess | The Mirror | An Offering to Venus | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | The Ring by John William Godward |
Related Artists:Paton, Sir Joseph Noel
Scottish painter, illustrator, sculptor and collector. From his earliest years he drew avidly, seeking inspiration from ancient history, the Bible and from tales of romance and legend. His father was a keen antiquarian, and his habit of collecting items of historical interest and artistic merit was inherited by his son who amassed a collection, which included arms and armour, now in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. He used items from the collection in a large number of his paintings such as 'I wonder who lived in there?' (1867; Mrs Eva No?l Findlay priv. col.), the Fairy Raid (1867; Glasgow A.G. & Mus.), In die Malo (1881) and Oskold and the Ell? Maids (1874). After three years as head designer in one of the biggest sewn-muslin factories in Paisley, Strathclyde, Paton went to London in 1842. Although he did not take a studentship at the Royal Academy Schools, it was there that he met John Everett Millais, and they became lifelong friends. He won prizes in the Westminster Hall competitions in 1845 and 1847, Ghasiram Hardev Sharma
Peter F Rothermel
Peter F Rothermel Gallery
Rothermel was born in Nescopeck, Pennsylvania in 1817, although some date his birth earlier in 1813 or 1814. He studied under John R. Smith and Bass Otis before studying in various places in Europe. He specialized in portraits and dramatic historical paintings. He served as Vice President of the Artists' Fund Society in 1844 and as Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1847 to 1855.
His most famous paintings include Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses (1851) and a massive oil painting of the Battle of Gettysburg that hangs in the State Museum of Pennsylvania. This latter work was commissioned by Gettysburg lawyer David McConaughy. Another of his more popular historical works is Columbus Before the Queen, painted in 1844.