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 :. | Mischief | Endymion | Idle Thoughts | Erato at Her Lyre | In Realms of Fancy |
Related Artists:BURGKMAIR, Hans
German Northern Renaissance Painter, 1473-1531
German artist, famous for his paintings and woodcuts. A friend of D??rer, he studied in Strasburg and Venice, as well as Augsburg. He executed the woodcuts for Weißkunig and some of those in Teuerdank. His greatest works are the altar-pieces in Munich and Augsburg. COECKE VAN AELST, Pieter
Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1502-1550
South Netherlandish painter, architect, and linguist. After extensive travels he settled in Antwerp, where he published (1539) a Flemish translation of Vitru-vius's De Architectura and (1539?C53) Serlio's multi-volume treatise into Flemish, French, and High German.
POORTER, Willem de
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1608-ca.1648
Dutch painter. His father, Pieter, came from Flanders to Haarlem, where in 1631 works by Willem were recorded for the first time. In 1634 Willem was registered in Haarlem as a master painter, and in 1635 Pieter Casteleijn was named as his pupil. As late as 1643 Pieter Abrams Poorter and Claes Coenraets began their studies with him in Haarlem. Willem is mentioned for the last time in the archives of the Haarlem Guild of St Luke in 1645, the year he left for Wijk bij Heusden. He supposedly studied under Rembrandt, together with his fellow townsman Jacob de Wet. There is no documentation to support this assumption, but a number of de Poorter's small-scale biblical and history paintings bear such a striking likeness to Rembrandt's biblical compositions of c. 1630 that the two hands are often confused. Rembrandt's Presentation in the Temple (1631; The Hague, Mauritshuis; see REMBRANDT VAN RIJN) was copied (Dresden, Gemeldegal. Alte Meister) by de Poorter, who also painted his own version (Kassel, Schloss Wilhelmsh?he). The lighting in de Poorter's Entombment (Guernsey, D. Cevat priv..) was also apparently inspired by Rembrandt's example. Since de Poorter's paintings were first reported in Haarlem in 1631, the year that Rembrandt moved from Leiden to Amsterdam, it seems likely that de Poorter received his training in the Leiden workshop, where Gerrit Dou had also been working since 1628.