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 Ring | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | Campaspe | A Pompeian Lady | Idle Thoughts |
Related Artists:John Ferguson Weir
American painter and sculptor.
Painter, teacher and sculptor, son of Robert Walter Weir. He grew up at the US Military Academy at West Point, where he was taught by his father. His earliest paintings record the handsome landscape of the surrounding countryside, including View of the Highlands from West Point (1862; New York, NY Hist. Soc.). By November 1862 Weir had settled in New York, occupying quarters in the Studio Building on West Tenth Street, where he became friendly with many of the well-known artists residing there. He also made important contacts through the Century Club and the Athenaeum Club and the Artists' Fund Society. He made his d?but at the National Academy of Design with an Artist's Studio (1864; Los Angeles, CA, Co. Mus. A.), a detailed view of his father's painting room at West Point. The picture's favourable reception led to his election as an Associate of the National Academy of Design. Agnes Goodsir
(18 June 1864, Portland, Victoria - 1939, France) was an Australian portrait painter who moved within lesbian circles in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s.
Goodsir was one of eleven children born to David James Cook Goodsir, Commissioner of Customs at Melbourne, and Elizabeth Archer.
Her early art training started with Arthur T. Woodward at the Bendigo School of Mines in the 1890s, and in 1899 some of her work was raffled in Bendigo to partly finance her study in Paris. The years following World War I saw a virtual exodus of Australian artists on a sort of Grand Tour to Paris, all intent on being part of the explosion of the arts taking place there. Painters like Rupert Bunny, Stella Bowen and Max Meldrum were drawn there by the appeal of the Left Bank. Others like Margaret Preston and Grace Crowley were inspired to develop in new directions by post-war Parisian art.
Goodsir attended the Academie Delecluse, the Academie Julian and then the Academie Colarossi. From about 1912 she shuttled between London and Paris, but finally settled in Paris at 18 Rue de l'Odeon. Her constant companion was Rachel Dunn, depicted in several of her paintings, such as The Chinese Skirt 1933, Girl with Cigarette 1925, The Letter 1926 and Morning Tea 1925.
Her work was acclaimed and exhibited at the New Salon, the Salon des Independants, and the Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris as well as at the Royal Academy and the Royal Institute in London. On a short visit to Australia in 1927 she exhibited at the Macquarie Galleries in Sydney and the Fine Arts Gallery in Melbourne. In 1938 four of her oils were shown at the sesquicentennial exhibition at the NSW National Art Gallery.
On her death in 1939, her paintings were left to her companion Rachel Dunn, who sent some 40 to Agnes's family in Australia and others to Australian galleries.Broederlam, Melchoir
Flemish, active 1381-1409