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 Fair Reflection | A Classical Beauty | Lesbia with her Sparrow | Idle Thoughts | In Realms of Fancy |
Related Artists:Louis Caravaque
Louis Caravaque, a French portrait painter, was a native of Gascony. He went to Russia, and in 1716 painted at Astrakhan the portrait of Peter the Great, which has been engraved by Massard and by Langlois. He again painted the Czar in 1723, and subsequently the Empresses Anne and Elizabeth. He died in Russia in 1752.Simon Kick
1603-1652 Dutch Dankvart Dreyer
(13 June 1816 - 4 November 1852) was a Danish landscape painter of the Copenhagen School of painters who was educated under the guidance of Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg. Around 1840, he was part of the emerging National Romantic landscape painting scene in Denmark but as a result of his over-dramatic and excessively natural style, he did not fit the aestetics and the ideology of the period. After being widely criticized, he turned his back on the artistic establishment and passed into near oblivion. In 1852, when only 36 years old, he died from typhus.
Posthumously, half a century after his death, his reputation was restored, prompted by the art historian Karl Madsen, and today he is considered to be one of the leading Danish landscape painters of his day, the peer of his more famous contemporaries P.C. Skovgaard and Johan Lundbye.