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 :. | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | The Tambourine Girl | Mischief | Autumn | Idle Thoughts |
Related Artists:Frans Pourbus
Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1545-1581
Painter, son of Pieter Pourbus. His work consists mainly of portraits and religious subjects, although he also executed a number of landscapes and history paintings. He worked mostly for the wealthy patrician class, and his work was instrumental in spreading the Romanism of Frans Floris (his teacher) throughout the Netherlands. It is probable that Frans Pourbus's earliest teaching was with his father in Bruges, but by 1564 he is recorded as working in the Antwerp studio of Floris. According to van Mander, Frans Pourbus and his fellow student Crispijn van den Broeck together completed an altarpiece by Floris after the latter's death in 1570. In 1566 Frans Pourbus married Susanna, a daughter of Cornelis Floris and niece of his master, and in 1569/70 he became a master in the Antwerp Guild of St Luke, though he retained his citizenship of Bruges. Gortzius Geldorp was his pupil in Antwerp in 1570. For Ghent Cathedral Frans painted Christ among the Doctors (the Viglius Altarpiece, 1571; in situ), which includes life-size portraits of Emperor Charles V, his son Philip, their secretary Viglius ab Aytta (d 1577), Jansenius, first Bishop of Ghent (d 1576), and the Duke of Alba. A decade later Pourbus executed the portrait of the Hoefnagel Family (c. 1581; Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.), shown grouped around a harpsichord playing musical instruments, in which the artist included a self-portrait (playing a lute) at the upper left. The picture was acquired in 1696 by Constantijn Huygens the younger from a cousin, a Hoefnagel descendant, in exchange for a horse; the young girl of 15 or 16 with a parrot in her hand was Huygens's grandmother. An inventory drawn up after Frans Pourbus death lists 20 portraits by him, many from the circle of the Duke of Anjou.Jackals Kalila and Dimna
the period of 1465-1535
Alois Auer von Welsbach