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 Grecian Lovely | Yes or No | Le Billet Doux | Reverie | The Fruit Vendor |
Related Artists:Robert William Buss
British painter and etcher , 1804-1875
was a Victorian artist, etcher and illustrator perhaps best known for his painting Dickens' Dream. Born in Bull and Mouth Street, Aldersgate in London in 1804, Buss served an apprenticeship with his father, a master engraver and enameller, and then studied painting under George Clint, a miniaturist, watercolour and portrait painter, and mezzotint engraver. At the start of his career Buss specialized in painting theatrical portraits, with many of the leading actors of the day sitting to him, including William Charles Macready, John Pritt Harley, and John Baldwin Buckstone. Later Buss painted historical and humorous subjects. He exhibited a total of 112 pictures between 1826 and 1859, twenty-five at the Royal Academy, twenty at the British Institution,George earl
1824-1908.was a painter, primarily of sporting dogs and other animals. He was also the father of Maud Earl and Percy Earl, and the brother of Thomas Earl, all three of whom were also animal artists. Earl was a keen sportsman and this is reflected in his work and reputation as a dog painter. He was also an early member of The Kennel Club. Although chiefly remembered as a canine artist due to his success depicting themJean-Germain Drouais
Jean Germain Drouais Locations
Son of Francois-Hubert Drouais. He trained first with his father and in 1778 enrolled at the Academie Royale, becoming a pupil of Nicolas-Guy Brenet. Around 1781 he entered Jacques-Louis David studio as one of his first pupils. The following year, though not officially entered for the competition, he painted that year Prix de Rome subject, the Return of the Prodigal Son (Paris, St Roch), presumably as a trial for his own edification. The picture has a friezelike composition and reveals both the influence of Jean-Francois Peyron and David as well as debts to Poussin and Italian 17th-century sources. In 1783 Drouais reached the Prix de Rome final with the Resurrection of the Son of the Widow of Nain (Le Mans, Mus. Tesse) but was eliminated from the competition in extraordinary circumstances: impatient to know his master opinion, Drouais cut a section off the canvas and smuggled it out of the competition rooms. David acknowledged it to be the best thing his favourite pupil had yet done, but by his hasty action Drouais had disqualified himself. However, the following year he won the prize, and great acclaim, with the Woman of Canaan at the Feet of Christ (Paris, Louvre), an extremely accomplished piece influenced by Poussin work and David Belisarius (Lille, Mus. B.-A.).