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 :. | Dolce far Niente or Sweet Nothings | Reverie | By the Wayside | In Realms of Fancy | A Souvenir |
Related Artists:Frederick Mccubbin
Australian Painter, 1855-1917
By the early 1880s, his work began to attract considerable attention and won a number of prizes from the National Gallery, including a 30-pound first prize in 1883 in their annual student exhibition, and by the mid-1880s began to concentrate more on the works of the Australian bush which made him most famous. In 1883, he received first prize in the first annual Gallery students' exhibition, for best studies in colour and drawing. In 1888, he became instructor and master of the School of Design at the National Gallery. In this position he taught a number of students who themselves became prominent Australian artists, including Charles Conder and Arthur Streeton. He continued to paint through the first two decades of the 20th century, though by the beginning of World War I his health began to fail. He travelled to England in 1907 and visited Tasmania, but aside from these relatively short excursions lived most of his life in Melbourne. McCubbin married Annie Moriarty in March, 1889. They had seven children, of whom their son Louis also became an artist. In 1901 McCubbin and his family moved to Mount Macedon, where he was inspired by the surrounding bush and has experimented with the light and its effects on colour in nature. In 1912,Louis Joseph Anthonissen
Belgian Painter, 1849-1913William Sergeant Kendall