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 :. | Erato at Her Lyre | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | The Old, Old Story | In Realms of Fancy | Lesbia with her Sparrow |
Related Artists:Heinrich Fussli
Swiss romanticist, 1741-1825Cornelis van Poelenburch
(1594 - 12 August 1667) was a Dutch Golden Age landscape painter.
Though his birthplace is unknown, a signed document survives in Utrecht where he is listed as six years old and the son of Simon van Poelenburch, a Catholic canon in Utrecht.He initially trained with Abraham Bloemaert, and his earliest signed paintings are from 1620.He traveled to Rome where he was influenced by Adam Elsheimer and became a founding member of the Bentvueghels. He counted a few cardinals under his patrons, and was called to England by Charles I of England, for whom he made small cabinet pieces. He returned to Utrecht where he later died just a few years after his old teacher Abraham Bloemaert.He painted mostly small landcapes with mythical or religious figures or passages, in a style that would later be evident in some of the works of Claude Lorraine.
His "most important and successful" pupils were Daniël Vertangen, Dirck van der Lisse, François Verwilt, and Jan van Haensbergen. Arnold Houbraken claimed that his best pupil was Joan vander Lis from Breda (not Dirk vander Lis from The Hague). Houbraken then mentioned Vertangen, Verwilt, Warnard van Rysen from Bommel, and Willem van Steenree, a nephew. The RKD also mentions Laurens Barata.niklas lafrensen