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 :. | At the Thermae | Classical Beauty | The Old, Old Story | Flabellifera | New Perfume |
Related Artists:William Powell Frith
English Painter, 1819-1909
His parents were in domestic employment before taking a hotel in Harrogate in 1826. They encouraged him to become an artist, despite his own desire to be an auctioneer. While at school in Dover, Frith sketched caricatures and copies of Dutch genre scenes (Dover Mus.) that betray his disposition to narratives. His taste did not accord with the academic training he received at Henry Sass's Academy in London (1835-7) and at the Royal Academy Schools (1837). Frith began his career as a portrait painter, using members of his family as models. He first exhibited at the British Institution in 1838, and during the 1840s he established himself with his entertaining historical and literary subjects in the popular tradition of C. R. Leslie, William Mulready and Sir David Wilkie. He was a member of THE CLIQUE, which included Richard Dadd, Augustus Egg, Henry O'Neil and John Phillip. William Sergeant Kendall
(born March 26, 1880 in Pechory - died May 26, 1918 in Pskov) was an Estonian painter, known especially for his still lifes. For a time he studied with Julius von Klever in Saint Petersburg; further studies took him to Rome and Munich, where he studied at the school of Anton Ažbe. His paintings are reminiscent of the style of the Dutch Golden Age. Works by Hirv can be found in the Estonian Art Museum.