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 :. | The Old, Old Story | Autumn | Pompeian Lady | Drusilla | Lesbia with her Sparrow |
Related Artists:Akseli Gallen-Kallela
April 26, 1865 C March 7, 1931)
Gallen-Kallela was a Finnish artist and designer closely associated with notions of National Romanticism, especially relating to the region of Karelia, also a source of inspiration for the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Of particular influence was the collection of folk poems formed in the middle of the 19th century by Elias Lonrot. Following a national competition in 1891 Gallen-Kallela illustrated this national epic known as the Kaleval, the vivid images of which soon became widely known throughout Finland. He also made a significant contribution to the Finnish Pavilion at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 in which he painted frescoes on Kalevala themes in the main dome, as well as designing textiles and furniture. His furniture designs were made by the Iris company, founded by a close friend, Louis Sparre. Like many other ventures associated with Arts and Crafts, the Iris company was concerned with the production of well-designed, well-made furniture and ceramics. Gallen-Kallela designs at Paris 1900 attracted considerable attention leading to the award of a number of Gold and Silver Medals at the exhibition. He worked in a wide range of design media, including ryiji rugs, which he modernized using geometric motifs derived from the Finnish landscape. His distinctive contribution to Finnish culture is preserved in the Gallen-Kallela Museum, which was originally built by him as a studio and family home between 1911 and 1913 and now contains a large body of his work, including paintings, graphics, textiles, jewellery, stained glass, and architectural designs.
Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi
(June 8 (O.S. May 27), 1837 ?C April 6 (O.S. March 24), 1887; was a Russian painter and art critic. He was an intellectual leader of the Russian democratic art movement in 1860-1880.
Kramskoi came from a poor petty-bourgeois family. From 1857 to 1863 he studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts; he reacted against academic art and was an initiator of the "revolt of fourteen" which ended with the expulsion from the Academy of a group of its graduates, who organized the Artel of Artists
Influenced by the ideas of the Russian revolutionary democrats, Kramskoi asserted the high public duty of the artist, principles of realism, and the moral substance and nationality of art. He became one of the main founders and ideologists of the Company of Itinerant Art Exhibitions (or Peredvizhniki). In 1863-1868 he taught at the drawing school of a society for the promotion of applied arts. He created a gallery of portraits of important Russian writers, scientists, artists and public figures (Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, 1873, Ivan Shishkin, 1873, Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov, 1876, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, 1879, Sergei Botkin, 1880) in which expressive simplicity of composition and clarity of depiction emphasize profound psychological elements of character. Kramskoi's democratic ideals found their brightest expression in his portraits of peasants, which portrayed a wealth of character-details in representatives of the common people.
In one of Kramskoi's most well known paintings, Christ in the Desert (1872, Tretyakov gallery), he continued Alexander Ivanov's humanistic tradition by treating a religious subject in moral Cphilosophical terms. He imbued his image of Christ with dramatic experiences in a deeply psychological and vital interpretation, evoking the idea of his heroic self-sacrifice.
Aspiring to expand the ideological expressiveness of his images, Kramskoi created art that existed on the cusp of portraiture and genre-painting ("Nekrasov during the period of 'Last songs,'" 1877-C78; "Unknown Woman," 1883; "Inconsolable grief," 1884; all in Tretyakov gallery). These paintings disclose their subjects' complex and sincere emotions, their personalities and fates. The democratic orientation of Kramskoi's art, his acute critical judgments about it, and his persistent quest for objective public criteria for the evaluation of art exerted an essential influence on the development of democratic art and aesthetics in Russia in the last third of the nineteenth century.
MASTER of the Avignon School
French Early Renaissance Painter, 15th Century