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 :. | Endymion | The Belvedere | Sweet Dreams | Flabellifera | At the Gate of the Temple |
Related Artists:John Opie
English Painter, 1761-1807,English painter. He was born in a tin-mining district, where his father was a mine carpenter. He had a natural talent for drawing and was taken up by an itinerant doctor, John Wolcot (the poet Peter Pindar, 1738-1819), who was an amateur artist and had a number of well-connected friends. Wolcot taught Opie the rudiments of drawing and painting, providing engravings for him to copy and gaining him access to country-house collections. Opie's early portraits, such as Dolly Pentreath (1777; St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, Lord St Levan priv. col.), are the work of a competent provincial painter and owe much to his study of engravings after portraits by Rembrandt. His attempts at chiaroscuro and impasto in Rembrandt's manner gave his pictures a maturity that clearly startled contemporary audiences expecting to see works by an untutored artist. Thus in 1780, when a picture by him was exhibited in London at the Society of Artists with the description 'a Boy's Head, an Instance of Genius, not having ever seen a picture', Opie was hailed as 'the Cornish Wonder'. When he himself arrived in London, where he was promoted by Wolcot and his paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1781 and 1782, he was seen as a phenomenon, impressing even Joshua Reynolds, who is reputed to have remarked that Opie was 'like Caravaggio and Velasquez in one'. Gobindram Chatera
George Elgar Hicks
George Elgar Hicks Gallery
Born on March 13, 1824 in Lymington, Hampshire, George Elgar Hicks was the second son of a wealthy magistrate. His parents encouraged Hicks to become a doctor and so Hicks studied medicine at University College from 1840-42. However, after three years "ardous and disagreeable study" Hicks decided he wanted to be an artist. Due to this, Hicks began training as an artist considerably later in life than most artists of the time. In 1843, Hicks attended Sass's Academy and by 1844 had entered the Royal Academy Schools.
In 1847 Hicks married Maria Hariss and six of their eight children were born in the seven years following. He did not achieve much success as an artist during this period and later referred to his art at this time as "small and unimportant." He blamed this on the fact he had little time to study art or interact with other artists, due to his busy family life.
In 1859, Hicks painted his first large genre painting, Dividend Day. Bank of England (exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1859) following the success of Frith's paintings Ramsgate Sands and Derby Day at the Royal Academy. It was a typical genre painting, showing a scene from the Bank of England and featuring a broad range of social classes. Hicks painted several more large modern life paintings in the following years which were generally poorly reviewed by critics. These include The General Post Office. One minute to 6 (1860), Billingsgate Fish Market (1861) and Changing Homes (1862). Hicks paintings were often of subjects that no other artists attempted, such as the General Post Office and Billingsgate Fish Market. Hicks was one of the few artists that showed lasting interest in the emulation of Frith's style and is generally considered Frith's principal imitator.
By the late 1860s, the popularity of genre painting had waivered and Hicks began to focus on painting historical subjects, leading to society portraiture in the 1870s.
In 1884, Hicks remarried following the death of Maria in 1881. He retired in the 1890s and died a month before the declaration of World War I in 1914.