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 :. | quiet pet | Study of Campaspe | By the Wayside | La Pensierosa | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii |
Related Artists:UGO DA CARPI
Italian painter/woodcutter (c. 1480-c. 1523). Calvaert, Denys
Flemish painter and draughtsman, active in Italy. In 1556-7 he was inscribed in the registers of the painters' corporation in Antwerp as a pupil of the landscape painter Kerstiaen van Queboorn (1515-78). Calvaert went to Bologna c. 1560, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. There he came under the protection of the influential Bolognini family and entered the workshop of Prospero Fontana the elder. After about two years he left Fontana to work with Lorenzo Sabatini, with whom he collaborated on several pictures, including the Holy Family with the Archangel St Michael (Bologna, S Giacomo Maggiore) and an Assumption (Bologna, Pin. N.). Calvaert's oeuvre is composed almost exclusively of religious works, ranging in size from vast altarpieces to small devotional pictures on copper. This sets him apart from other Netherlandish painters, notably those of the school of Prague, for whom Classical mythology was a constant source of inspiration. His first signed and dated work was Vigilance (1568; Bologna, Pin. N.); thereafter he developed a more original style, as in the Noli me tangere (Bologna, Pin. N.). Luca Penni
Florence 1500/04-Paris 1557