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 :. | A Classical Beauty In Profile | Study of Campaspe | The Betrothed | The Jewel Casket | Godward Leaning on the Balcony |
Related Artists:Kitagawa Utamaro
Kitagawa Utamaro Gallery
Biographical details for Utamaro are extremely limited, and each reference gives a substantially different account.
Various accounts claim that he was born in either Edo (present-day Tokyo), Kyoto, or Osaka (the three main cities of Japan), or a provincial town (no one is sure exactly which one) in around 1753; the exact date is also uncertain. Another long-standing tradition has is that he was born in Yoshiwara, the courtesan district of Edo, the son of a tea-house owner, but there is no evidence of this. His original name was Kitagawa Ichitaro.
It is generally agreed that he became a pupil of the painter Toriyama Sekien while he was still a child, and there are many authorities who believe that Utamaro was his son as well. He lived in Sekien's house while he was growing up, and the relationship continued until Sekien's death in 1788.
Sekien was originally trained in the aristocratic Kan?? school of painting, but in middle age he started to lean toward the popular (or ukiyo-e) school. Sekien is known to have had a number of other pupils, none of any distinction.
Utamaro, in common with other Japanese of the time, changed his name as he became mature, and also took the name Ichitaro Yusuke as he became older. He apparently also married, although little is known about his wife, and he apparently had no children.
His first major professional artistic work, at about the age of 22, in 1775, seems to have been the cover for a Kabuki playbook, under the g?? of Toyoaki. He then produced a number of actor and warrior prints, along with theatre programmes, and other such material. From the spring of 1781, he switched his g?? to Utamaro, and started painting and designing fairly forgettable woodblock prints of women.
At some point in the middle 1780s, probably 1783, he went to live with the young rising publisher Tsutaya J??zabur??, with whom he apparently lived for about 5 years. He seems to have become a principal artist for the Tsutaya firm. His output of prints for the next few years was sporadic, as he produced mostly illustrations for books of kyoka, literally 'crazy verse', a parody of the classical waka form. He seems to have produced nothing at all that has survived in the period 1790-1792.
In about 1791 Utamaro gave up designing prints for books and concentrated on making half-length single portraits of women, rather than the prints of women in groups favoured by other ukiyo-e artists. In 1793 he achieved recognition as an artist, and his semi-exclusive arrangement with the publisher Tsutaya J??zabur?? was terminated. He then went on to produce a number of very famous series, all featuring women of the Yoshiwara district.
Over the years, he also occupied himself with a number of volumes of nature studies and shunga, or erotica. In 1797, Tsutaya J??zabur?? died, and Utamaro apparently was very upset by the loss of his long-time friend and supporter. Some commentators feel that his work after this never reached the heights it did before.
In 1804, at the height of his success, he ran into legal trouble by publishing prints related to a banned historical novel. The prints, entitled Hideyoshi and his 5 Concubines, depicted the military ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi's wife and concubines; Consequently, he was accused of insulting Hideyoshi's dignity. He was sentenced to be handcuffed for 50 days (some accounts say he was briefly imprisoned). According to some sources, the experience crushed him emotionally and ended his career as an artist.
He died two years later, on the 20th day of the 9th month, 1806, aged about fifty-three, in Edo.
Canadian-born English Painter, 1859-1912Gustaf Lundberg
Swedish, 1695-1786,Swedish painter and pastellist. He was orphaned early and brought up by his grandfather, the goldsmith Fredrik Richter (1636-1714). In 1710 he was briefly apprenticed to David von Krafft (1655-1724). Against von Krafft's advice, and at his own expense, he travelled to Paris in 1717. He studied first with Hyacinthe Rigaud, Nicolas de Largillierre and Jean-Fran?ois de Troy, learning to paint in a R?gence style less heavy and serious than that taught by von Krafft in Sweden. He also studied drawing under Pierre-Jacques Cazes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1720 Rosalba Carriera came to Paris from Italy, bringing with her the fashionable technique of drawing in pastel chalks. Lundberg became her pupil and within a year had mastered the medium, charming the Parisians with his portraits. Until the arrival of Carriera, he had worked only in oils (e.g. the portrait of Gabriel Sack and his Wife Eva Bielke, 1730; priv. col.), but he now turned exclusively to pastels. He received portrait commissions from Louis XV (reg 1715-74), notably for those of his young queen Maria Leszczynska and of her parents Stanislav I Leszczynski and Catherine Opalinska (both 1725; Upplands Vesby, priv. col.), who at that time were living at Chambord. Through the agency of Carl Gustav Tessin, Lundberg was received (re?u) at the Acad?mie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1741. As his morceaux de reception he executed two portraits of Fran?ois Boucher and Charles-Joseph Nattier, shown at the Salon of 1743.