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 :. | He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not | Venus Binding her Hair | Campaspe | A Classical Beauty | Dolce far Niente |
Related Artists:Felicien Rops
Belgian Symbolist Engraver, 1833-1898
was a Belgian artist, and printmaker in etching and aquatint. Rops was born in Namur in 1833, and was educated at the University of Brussels. Rops's forte was drawing more than painting in oils; he first won fame as a caricaturist. He met Charles Baudelaire towards the end of Baudelaire's life in 1864, and Baudelaire left an impression upon him that lasted until the end of his days. Rops created the frontispiece for Baudelaire's Les Épaves, a selection of poems from Les Fleurs du mal that had been censored in France, and which therefore were published in Belgium. Rops's association with Baudelaire and with the art he represented won his work the admiration of many other writers, including Theophile Gautier, Alfred de Musset, St phane Mallarm, Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, and Josephin Peladan. He was closely associated with the literary movement of Symbolism and Decadence. Like the works of the authors whose poetry he illustrated, his work tends to mingle sex, death, and Satanic images.Jan van Huysum
Jan Van Huysum Galleries
He was the brother of Jacob van Huysum, and the son of Justus van Huysum, who is said to have been expeditious in decorating doorways, screens and vases. A picture by Justus is preserved in the gallery of Brunswick, representing "Orpheus and the Beasts in a wooded landscape", and here we have some explanation of his son's fondness for landscapes of a conventional and Arcadian kind; for Jan van Huysum, though skilled as a painter of still life, believed himself to possess the genius of a landscape painter.
Half his pictures in public galleries are landscapes, views of imaginary lakes and harbours with impossible ruins and classic edifices, and woods of tall and motionless trees-the whole very glossy and smooth, and entirely lifeless. The earliest dated work of this kind is that of 1717, in the Louvre, a grove with maidens culling flowers near a tomb, ruins of a portico, and a distant palace on the shores of a lake bounded by mountains.
Some of the finest of van Huysum's fruit and flower pieces have been in English private collections: those of 1723 in the earl of Ellesmere's gallery, others of 1730-1732 in the collections of Hope and Ashburton. One of the best examples is now in the National Gallery, London (1736-1737). No public museum has finer and more numerous specimens than the Louvre, which boasts of four landscapes and six panels with still life; then come Berlin and Amsterdam with four fruit and flower pieces; then St Petersburg, Munich, Hanover, Dresden, the Hague, Brunswick, Vienna, Carlsruhe, Boston and Copenhagen.MASTER of the Polling Panels
German Northern Renaissance Painter, active 1434-1450