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 :. | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue | Classical Beauty | The Ring by John William Godward | Does He Love me | A Classical Beauty In Profile |
R.F.1948-36 M.Nludwig van beethoven
Born: December 1770
Birthplace: Bonn, Germany
Died: 26 March 1827 (cirrhosis of the liver, plus dropsy)
Best Known As: The composer of Beethoven's FifthWalter Withers
English-born Australian Painter,
was an Australian landscape artist and a member of the Heidelberg School of Australian impressionists. Withers was born at Handsworth, Staffordshire, the son of Edwin Withers. He showed an early desire to paint, but objection was made to this by his father. It is not known what occupation he followed in England, but in 1882 he arrived in Australia with the intention of going on the land. After working for about 18 months on a farm, Withers removed to Melbourne and obtained a position as draughtsman in a firm of printers. He then took up his painting again, and began to exhibit with the Victorian Academy of Arts afterwards merged in the Victorian Artists' Society. In 1887 Withers went to Europe. There he was married to Miss F. Flinn and studied for some months at the Academie Julian, Paris. He returned to Australia with his wife in June 1888 having been commissioned to do black and white work for Messrs Fergusson and Mitchell of Melbourne. His most important work in this way will be found in the illustrations to Edmund Finn's, The Chronicles of Early Melbourne. Withers settled down at first at Kew, a suburb of Melbourne, and then near Heidelberg on the other side of the river Yarra. He became friendly with Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder, Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin and other leading artists of the period. He began to sell a few pictures, but the collapse of the land boom put an end to his illustrative work. He obtained some work as a drawing and painting master in schools, and in 1891 opened a studio in Collins-street west, where he held his first private exhibition.