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 :. | La Pensierosa | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii | The Belvedere | Erato at Her Lyre | Nerissa |
Related Artists:BROEDERLAM, Melchior
Netherlandish Gothic Era Painter, ca.1355-1411
South Netherlandish painter. Broederlam's family, long-established in Ypres, provided three aldermen for the city and sided with the French Counts of Flanders against the Flemish populace. After a training that may have included contact with Jan Boudolf in Bruges before 1368 or Paris after 1370 and an extended visit to Italy, the artist became, by 1381, an official painter of the reigning count, Louis de M?le (reg. 1346-84), painting leather chairs, pennons and banners. On 13 May 1384, directly after Louis's death, he was appointed a valet de chambre to the count's heir, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.CRIVELLI, Carlo
Italian Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1430-1495
He produced many large, multi-partite altarpieces in which his highly charged, emotional use of line, delight in detail, decoration and citric colours, often set against a gold ground, convey an intensity of expression unequalled elsewhere in Italy. His mastery of perspective was also used for dramatic impact. As he worked in isolation in the Marches, his style only had local influence. In the 19th century, WRIGHT, Joseph
English painter (b. 1734, Derby, d. 1797, Derby).
Painter, known as Wright of Derby, where he was born and spent most of his life. He earned a living as a portrait painter, while he experimented with the effects of light and industrial and scientific subjects, reflecting the interests of his day. Two of his best-known works come from this period, A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery (1766, Derby) and An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1768, Tate).