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 | The Muse Erato at Her Lyre | A Souvenir | Leisure Hours | Autumn |
Related Artists:Edward Arthur Walton
British Painter, 1860-1922
He trained at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Desseldorf (1876-7) and Glasgow School of Art. One of the GLASGOW BOYS, he painted outdoors in the Trossachs and at Crowland, Lincs, with James Guthrie, Joseph Crawhall and George Henry. He also painted in W. Y. Macgregor's life studio in Glasgow. He joined the New English Art Club in 1887 and developed an atmospheric landscape style influenced by plein-air painting and by James McNeill Whistler with whom he was friendly during his stay in London (1894-1904); Autumn Sunshine (1884; U. Glasgow, Hunterian A.G.) is characteristic. Walton was a regular exhibitor from 1880 in both Glasgow, at the Institute of the Fine Arts, and Edinburgh, at the Royal Scottish Academy. He was elected an Associate of the Academy in 1889 and a full member in 1905, taking an active role in its affairs after moving to Edinburgh in 1904. He concentrated after c. 1885 on pastel and on watercolour, which he used notably in his Helensburgh and Kensington scenes of contemporary life. From 1915 he served as President of the Royal Scottish Water Colour Society. Oil was reserved largely for portraits in a Whistlerian style, such as the Artist's Mother.Bicknell, Frank Alfred
American, 1866-1943Jan Woutersz