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 :. | The Jewel Casket | Idle Thoughts | Campaspe | Endymion | Youth and Time |
Related Artists:ZUCCHI, Jacopo
Italian Painter, ca.1540-1596. Jacopo Zucchi was an Italian painter of the Florentine school. Italian painter and draughtsman. He was trained in the studio of Vasari, whom he assisted in the decoration of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, as early as 1557. He accompanied Vasari to Pisa in 1561, from when dates his earliest known drawing, Aesculapius (London, BM). Between 1563 and 1565 he was again in Florence and is documented working with Vasari, Joannes Stradanus and Giovan Battista Naldini on the ceiling of the Sala Grande (Salone dei Cinquecento) in the Palazzo Vecchio; a drawing of an Allegory of Pistoia (Florence, Uffizi) is related to the ceiling allegories of Tuscan cities. In 1564 Zucchi entered the Accademia del Disegno and contributed to the decorations erected for the funeral of Michelangelo. He travelled to Rome with Vasari and was his chief assistant on decorations in the Vatican in 1567 and 1572,Sir Thomas Lawrence
Sir Thomas Lawrence Galleries
was a notable English painter, mostly of portraits.
He was born in Bristol. His father was an innkeeper, first at Bristol and afterwards at Devizes, and at the age of six Lawrence was already being shown off to the guests of the Bear as an infant prodigy who could sketch their likenesses and declaim speeches from Milton. In 1779 the elder Lawrence had to leave Devizes, having failed in business and Thomas's precocious talent began to be the main source of the family's income; he had gained a reputation along the Bath road. His debut as a crayon portrait painter was made at Oxford, where he was well patronized, and in 1782 the family settled in Bath, where the young artist soon found himself fully employed in taking crayon likenesses of fashionable people at a guinea or a guinea and a half a head. In 1784 he gained the prize and silver-gilt palette of the Society of Arts for a crayon drawing after Raphael's "Transfiguration," and presently beginning to paint in oil.
He began a systematic study of drawing in 1856, first with the landscape painter Pavel Cherkasov (1834-1900), then from 1859 to 1861 with Pavel Chistyakov (1832-1919). He also took lessons with Chistyakov, whom he considered his most important teacher, in 1871 and early 1872, after finishing his academic course. From 1863 to 1871 Polenov studied at the St Petersburg Academy of Art, where he met members of the progressive wing of the Russian artistic intelligentsia, and occasionally in the faculty of law at St Petersburg University. The classical education he received at home, his academic training and lessons with Chistyakov led Polenov towards an 'exalted' history painting, although he personally inclined towards landscape. This dualism remained in Polenov's work for the duration, and not until the late 1880s and early 1890s did he achieve a stable relationship between the two forms. The whole of his student career and the initial postgraduate, scholarship period was largely taken up with historical works: from academic compositions, for example the Resurrection of Jairus's Daughter (1871; Pskov, Mus. Hist., Archit. & A.), for which he received the Grand Gold Medal and a travel bursary (in Germany and Italy, 1872-3, and France, 1873-6), to numerous pictures and sketches on subjects from antiquity and medieval history, executed in France or shortly after his departure from there, under the perceptible influence of Paul Delaroche