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 :. | Autumn | Flabellifera | A Classical Beauty In Profile | La Pensierosa | The Belvedere |
Related Artists:Giovanni Martinelli
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1610-1659Sergey Ivanovich Svetoslavsky
painted In the Garden in 1900s
Baron Pierre-Narcisse Guerin
(13 May 1774 - 6 July 1833) was a French painter.
Guerin was born in Paris.
A pupil of Jean-Baptiste Regnault, he carried off one of the three grands prix offered in 1796, in consequence of the competition not having taken place since 1793. In 1799, his painting Marcus Sextus (Louvre) was exhibited at the Salon and excited wild enthusiasm. Part of this was due to the subject - a victim of Sulla's proscription returning to Rome to find his wife dead and his house in mourning - in which an allusion was found to the turmoil of the French Revolution.
Guerin on this occasion was publicly crowned by the president of the Institute, and went to Rome to study under Joseph-Benoît Suvee. In 1800, unable to remain in Rome on account of his health, he went to Naples, where he painted the Grave of Amyntas. In 1802 Guerin produced Phaedra and Hippolytus (Louvre); in 1810, after his return to Paris, he again achieved a great success with Andromache and Pyrrhus (Louvre); and in the same year also exhibited Cephalus and Aurora (Louvre) and Bonaparte and the Rebels of Cairo (Versailles). These paintings suited the popular taste of the First Empire, being highly melodramatic and pompously dignified.
The Restoration brought to Guerin fresh honours; he had received from the first consul in 1803 the cross of the Legion of Honour, and in 1815 Louis XVIII named to the Academie des Beaux-Arts. His style changed to accord with popular taste. In Aeneas Relating to Dido the Disasters of Troy (Louvre), Guerin adopted a more sensuous, picturesque style.
Guerin was commissioned to paint for the Madeleine a scene from the history of St Louis, but his health prevented him from accomplishing what he had begun, and in 1822 he accepted the post of director of the French Academy in Rome, which in 1816 he had refused. On returning to Paris in 1828, Guerin, who had previously been made chevalier of the order of St. Michel, was ennobled. He now attempted to complete Pyrrhus and Priam, a work which he had begun at Rome, but in vain; his health had finally broken down, and in the hope of improvement he returned to Italy with Horace Vernet. Shortly after his arrival at Rome Baron Guerin died, on the 6th of July 1833, and was buried in the church of La Trinite de Monti by the side of Claude Lorrain.