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 :. | Le Billet Doux | Dolce far Niente or Sweet Nothings | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not | Priestess |
Related Artists:John Henry Twatchman
John Henry Twatchman Galleries Sebastiano del Piombo
1485-1547 Italian Sebastiano del Piombo Galleries
Italian painter. He was one of the most important artists in Italy in the first half of the 16th century, active in Venice and Rome. His early, Venetian, paintings are reminiscent of Giovanni Bellini and to a lesser extent of Giorgione. With his move to Rome in 1511 he came under the influence of Raphael and then of Michelangelo, who supplied him with drawings. After the death of Raphael (1520) he was the leading painter working in Rome and was particularly noted as a portrait painter. In his finest works, such as the Piete (1513; Viterbo, Mus. Civ.) and the Flagellation (1516-24; Rome, S Pietro in Montorio), there is a remarkable fusion of the Venetian use of colour and the grand manner of central Italian classicism.Felix Vallotton
1865-1925was a Swiss painter and printmaker associated with Les Nabis. He was an important figure in the development of the modern woodcut. He was born into a conservative middle class family in Lausanne, and there he attended College Cantonal, graduating with a degree in classical studies in 1882. In that year he moved to Paris to study art under Jules Joseph Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger at the Academie Julian. He spent many hours in the Louvre, where he greatly admired the works of Holbein, Derer and Ingres; these artists would remain exemplars for Vallotton throughout his life. His earliest paintings, such as the Ingresque Portrait of Monsieur Ursenbach (1885), are firmly rooted in the academic tradition, and his self portrait of 1885 (seen at right) received an honorable mention at the Salon des artistes français in 1886. During the following decade Vallotton painted, wrote art criticism and made a number of prints. In 1891 he executed his first woodcut, a portrait of Paul Verlaine. The many woodcuts he produced during the 1890s were widely disseminated in periodicals and books in Europe as well as in the United States, and were recognized as radically innovative in printmaking. They established Vallotton as a leader in the revival of true woodcut as an artistic medium; in the western world, the relief print, in the form of commercial wood engraving, had long been mainly utilized unimaginatively as a medium for the reproduction of drawn or painted images and, latterly, photographs. Vallotton's starkly reductive woodcut style features large masses of undifferentiated black and areas of unmodulated white. While emphasizing outline and flat patterns, Vallotton generally made no use of the gradations and modeling traditionally produced by hatching. The influences of post-Impressionism, symbolism and the Japanese woodcut are apparent; a large exhibition of ukiyo-e prints had been presented at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1890, and Vallotton, like many artists of his era an enthusiast of Japonism, collected these prints. He depicted street crowds and demonstrations including several scenes of police attacking anarchists bathing women, portrait heads, and other subjects which he treated with a sardonic humor. His graphic art reached its highest development in Intimit's (Intimacies), a series of ten interiors published in 1898 by the Revue Blanche, which deal with tension between men and women. Vallotton's prints have been suggested as a significant influence on the graphic art of Edvard Munch, Aubrey Beardsley, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner .By 1892 he was affiliated with Les Nabis, a group of young artists that included Pierre Bonnard, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Maurice Denis, and Edouard Vuillard, with whom Vallotton was to form a lifelong friendship. During the 1890s, when Vallotton was closely allied with the avant-garde, his paintings reflected the style of his woodcuts, with flat areas of color, hard edges, and simplification of detail.