John William Godward
John William Godward's
Oil Paintings

John William Godward Museum
9 August 1861-13 December 1922, was an English painter.

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John William Godward
The Old, Old Story
Oil on canvas 71.5 X 86.5 cm (28.15 X 34.06 in)
ID: 68095

John William Godward The Old, Old Story
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John William Godward The Old, Old Story


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John William Godward

English 1861-1922 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 Grecian Lovely | Youth and Time | The Belvedere | The Jewel Casket | The Bouquet |
Related Artists:
Jean-Louis Forain
1852-1931 French painter, printmaker and illustrator. Around 1860 he moved with his family to Paris, where he was taught by Jacquesson de la Chevreuse (1839-1903), Jean Baptiste Carpeaux and Andre Gill. He participated in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) and was a friend of the poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud; the latter is the presumed subject of a portrait (1874; priv. col., see 1982 exh. cat., no. 1) that may have influenced Manet late portrait of Mallarme (1876; Paris, Louvre). Forain first met Manet through his friendship with Degas in the early 1870s at the salon of Nina de Callias. He continued to associate with Manet, meeting the group of young Impressionists at the Cafe Guerbois and the Cafe de la Nouvelle Athenes. In 1878 Forain painted a small gouache, Cafe Scene (New York, Brooklyn Mus.), which probably influenced Manet Bar at the Folies-Bergere (1881-2; London, Courtauld Inst. Gals).
Vasily Surikov
Russian Painter, 1848-1916 Russian painter. He is principally noted for his treatment of episodes from the 17th century and the medieval period of Russian history. These works are remarkable for their thoroughly researched and detailed rendering of settings and costume and the drama of their presentation. Surikov was also an accomplished portrait painter and incorporated a large number of portrait studies into his history paintings.
Carl Larsson
Swedish Realist Painter, 1853-1919 Swedish painter, illustrator and printmaker. He came from a poor family and studied (1866-76) at the Konstakademi in Stockholm, supporting himself throughout this period. From 1871 to 1878 he contributed illustrations to the comic journal Kaspar and the Ny illustrerad tidning. From 1875, for several decades, he was a prolific book illustrator, his most renowned work in this field being his drawings for Föltskärns beröttelser ('The Barber-surgeon's tales'; pubd 1883-4) by Zacharius Topelius, and the Rococo-inspired watercolours for the Samlade skaldeförsök ('Collected attempts at poetry'; pubd 1884) by the 18th-century Swedish author Anna Maria Lenngren.






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