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 :. | Flabellifera | Nerissa | The Peacock Fan | A Priestess | The Tambourine Girl |
Related Artists:Thomas Ruckle
was a house painter and sign painter in early nineteenth century Baltimore, Maryland, and an amateur painter. He is best known for his paintings The Battle of North Point, and The Defense of Baltimore. Ruckle was a veteran of the War of 1812, in which he had served as a corporal in the 5th Maryland Regiment of the Maryland Militia.
Ruckle was born in Ireland and, having moved to Baltimore, Maryland, he became a sign painter and house painter. It is likely that he had very little, if any, formal training as an artist.Carlos de Haes
Carlos de Haes Galleries
Spanish painter of Belgian birth. In 1835 he moved with his parents to M?laga, where he studied under the court portrait painter and miniature painter Luis de la Cruz y R?os (1776-1853). In 1850 he returned to Belgium and studied with the landscape painter Joseph Quineaux (1822-95). During his studies there and on his travels in France, Germany and Holland, he became acquainted with contemporary Realist trends. He returned to Spain in 1855, becoming a naturalized Spaniard, and the following year he exhibited numerous landscapes at the Exposici?n Nacional, Madrid, to much acclaim. In 1857 he won the competition for the fourth chair of landscape painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Madrid with View of the Royal Palace from the Casa de Campo (1857; Madrid, Real Acad. S Fernando), a work showing characteristics of the Barbizon and Fontainebleau landscape schools. In 1860 he was elected Acad?mico de m?rito at the Real Academia de S Fernando in Madrid. By 1861 he was officiating and drawing up the regulations for the landscape competitions for aspiring pensionnaires. Consequently plein-air works came to be required in place of the previous tradition of submitting historical landscapes executed in the studio, a practice that discouraged the study of nature. De Haes suggested that only final corrections should be made in the studio, an attitude that indicates his timid initiation and acceptance of Realist trends.Paula Modersohn-Becker
Paula Becker was born and grew up in Dresden-Friedrichstadt. She was the third child of seven children in her family. Her father who was the son of a Russian university professor, was employed with the German railway. He and Modersohn-Becker's mother, who was from an aristocratic family, provided the children a cultured and intellectual environment in the house hold.
Modersohn-Becker's parental home 1888-1899In 1888 her parents moved from Dresden to Bremen. While visiting an aunt in London, England, she received her first instruction in drawing. Apart from her teacher's training in Bremen in 1893-1895, Paula took private instruction in painting. In 1896 she participated in a course for painting and drawing sponsored by the "Verein der Berliner K??nstlerinnen" (Union of Berlin Female Artists) which offered art studies to women.
Paula Modersohn-Becker. Clara Rilke WesthoffAt the age of 22, she encountered the artistic community of Worpswede. In this "village", artists such as Fritz Mackensen (1866-1953) and Heinrich Vogeler (1872-1942) had retreated to protest against the domination of the art academy and life in the big city. At Worpswede, Paula Modersohn-Becker took painting lessons from Mackensen. The main subjects were the life of the farmers and the northern German landscape. At this time she began close friendships with the sculptor Clara Westhoff (1875-1954) and the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). She also fell in love during this period, and in 1901 she married a fellow Worpswede painter, Otto Modersohn. In marrying Otto, she also became a stepmother to Otto's daughter, Elsbeth Modersohn, the child from his first marriage to Helene Modersohn, then deceased.
Paula Modersohn-Becker. Rainer Maria Rilke, 1906Between 1900 and 1907, Paula made several extended trips to Paris for artistic purposes, sometimes living separately from her husband, Otto. During one of her residencies in Paris, she took courses at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. She visited contemporary exhibitions often, and was particularly intrigued with the work of Paul C??zanne. Other post impressionists were especially influential, including Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Fauve influences may also appear in such works as Poorhouse Woman with a Glass Bottle. The influence by the work of French painter, Jean-Francois Millet, who was widely admired among the artists in the Worpswede group, may be seen in such pieces as her 1900 Peat Cutters.
Reclining Mother and ChildIn her last trip to Paris in 1906, she produced a body of paintings from which she felt very great excitement and satisfaction. During this period of painting, she produced her initial nude self-portraits (something surely unprecedented by a female painter) and portraits of friends such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Werner Sombart. Some critics consider this period of her art production to be the strongest and most compelling.
Paula with Mathilde, November 1907 (days before Paula's death)In 1907, Paula Modersohn-Becker returned to her husband in Worpswede. Their relationship, which had been particularly strained in 1906, had taken a turn towards improvement. Paula's long-lived wish to conceive and bear a child was fulfilled. Her daughter Mathilde (Tillie) Modersohn was born on November 2, 1907. Paula and Otto were joyous. Sadly, the joy became soon overshadowed by tragedy, as Paula Modersohn-Becker died suddenly in Worpswede on November 20th from an embolism.
In 1908, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the renowned poem, "Requiem for a Friend", in Paula's memory. The poem was born of the imprint that Paula's life, death and friendship left upon Rilke.