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 | He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not | A Quiet Pet | Noonday Rest | Mischief |
Related Artists:Crane, Walter
English Golden Age Illustrator, 1845-1915
English painter, illustrator, designer, writer and teacher. He showed artistic inclinations as a boy and was encouraged to draw by his father, the portrait painter and miniaturist Thomas Crane (1808-59). A series of illustrations to Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) was shown first to Ruskin, who praised the use of colour, and then to the engraver William James Linton, to whom Crane was apprenticed in 1859. From 1859 to 1862 Crane learnt a technique of exact and economical draughtsmanship on woodblocks. Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem
(1 October 1620 - 18 February 1683) was a highly esteemed and prolific Dutch Golden Age painter of pastoral landscapes, populated with mythological or biblical figures, but also of a number of allegories and genre pieces.
Born in Haarlem, he received instruction from his father Pieter Claesz, and from the painters Jan van Goyen, Pieter de Grebber, Jan Baptist Weenix, Jan Wils and Claes Cornelisz. Moeyaert.According to Houbraken, Carel de Moor told him that Berchem got his name from two words "Berg hem" for "Save him!", an expression used by his fellows in Van Goyen's workshop whenever his father chased him there with the intent to beat him. No trip or Grand Tour by Berchem was documented by Houbraken though he mentioned another story about the "Berg hem!" nickname which came from Berchem's conscription as a sailor; the man in charge of impressment knew him and sent him ashore with the words "Save him!".Today his name is assumed to come from his father's hometown of Berchem, Antwerp. According to the RKD he traveled to Italy with Jan Baptist Weenix, whom he called his cousin, in 1642-5. Works by him are signed both as "CBerghem" and "Berchem".Diepraam, Abraham
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1622-1670