John William Godward
John William Godward's
Oil Paintings

John William Godward Museum
9 August 1861-13 December 1922, was an English painter.

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John William Godward
A Classical Beauty
A Classical Beauty, 1909
ID: 68011

John William Godward A Classical Beauty
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John William Godward A Classical Beauty


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John William Godward

English 1861-1922 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 :. | By the Wayside | Le Billet Doux (The Love Letter) | The Peacock Fan | Youth and Time | Dolce far Niente or Sweet Nothings |
Related Artists:
Giovanni Battista Ortolano
Ferrara ca 1487-after 1524
John Bettes the Elder
(active c. 1531 - 1570) was a Tudor artist whose few known paintings date from between about 1543 and 1550. His most famous work is his Portrait of a Man in a Black Cap. His son John Bettes the Younger, with whom he is sometimes confused, was a pupil of Nicholas Hilliard who painted portraits during the reign of Elizabeth I and James I. Nothing is known of John Bettes's life, except that he was living in Westminster in 1556, according to a documented court case. He is first recorded as working for Henry VIII at Whitehall Palace in 1531. Queen Catherine Parr's accounts for 1546/47 record payments to Bettes for "lymning" (painting in miniature) the king's and queen's portraits, and for six other portraits. Her new year's gift of 1547 to Prince Edward was a pair of portraits of the king and herself. Bettes has been identified as the designer of the engraved title-border for William Cuningham's Cosmographical Glasse, printed by John Day in 1559. He may also be the designer of engravings for Edward Hall's Chronicle, published in 1550, and of a woodcut portrait of Franz Burchard, the Saxon ambassador to England, published in 1560. In 1576, John Foxe referred to Bettes as already dead. An earlier second edition of Foxe's Actes and Monuments printed in 1570 refers to Bettes' death.
MacDonald, Daniel
Irish Painter, 1821-1853






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