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 :. | Campaspe | Dolce far Niente | Autumn | The Betrothed | Venus Binding her Hair |
Related Artists:FROMENT, Nicolas
French Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1430-1485MEMLING, Hans
Netherlandish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1435-1494
South Netherlandish painter of German origin. Together with Dieric Bouts I and Hugo van der Goes, he was one of the most important exponents of the new artistic developments that flourished in the southern Netherlands in the 15th century in the wake of Jan van Eyck, the Master of Fl?malle and Rogier van der Weyden. Their principal innovation was to apply optic realism to devotional or mystical subjects. Although Memling lived in the turbulent period of transition from the Burgundian ruling house to that of the Habsburgs, little of this is evident in his work. His commissions were almost exclusively from rich burghers in Bruges (bankers, merchants and politicians) or churchmen and the occasional aristocrat. Often they were foreigners, especially Italians, who had political or financial connections with the town, whose central economic position was to last only a few decades longer. They had Memling paint their portraits, bust or full length, in devotional paintings or on altarpieces for their chapel in Bruges or back home. He seems not to have received official commissions (from the town council or court). An exceptional proportion of this oeuvre has survived. Besides about 20 altarpieces, often in several panels and of considerable size, Master Francke
German painter (early 15th century, active in Hamburg). respectively German for "Master Francke" and Latin for "Brother Francke", was a North German Gothic painter and Dominican friar, born ca. 1380 in the Lower Rhine region or possibly Zutphen in the Netherlands, who died ca. 1440, probably in Hamburg, where he was based at the end of his known career. He is called "Fratre Francone Zutphanico" ("Brother Frank of Zutphen") in one document. He may have trained as an illuminator and painter in France or the Netherlands, and later worked in Munster, before joining in St John's Friary in Hamburg by 1424 at the latest.
Two main altarpieces attributed to him survive, dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury and Saint Barbara, in an unusually intense style, showing awareness of French and Early Netherlandish court art. He probably arrived in Hamburg after the death in 1415 of the previous leading artist there, Master Bertram, and shows little or no influence from him, but he may have been influenced by the more courtly style of Conrad von Soest, about ten years older than Francke, who worked to the south in Westphalia.
The Hamburg association of traders to England commissioned an altarpiece from "Mester Francke[nn]" in 1424; the contract does not survive, but is mentioned in their memorial book. This is probably the "St Thomas (of Canterbury) Altarpiece", completed in 1436, of which parts survive in the Kunsthalle, Hamburg. The rather earlier St Barbara Altarpiece may have been commissioned for Finland, where it surfaced a century ago. The "Thomas Altar" has eight surviving scenes, but is missing its main panel and several others. The "Barbara Altar" has also eight scenes, on both sides of the wings to a carved wood central panel by another artist. At least two other panels are in museum collections. Francke was almost entirely forgotten after the Renaissance until the end of the 19th century when, like Master Bertram, he was rediscovered and published by Alfred Lichtwart, Director of the Hamburg Kunsthalle