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 :. | Lesbia with her Sparrow | Lesbia with her Sparrow | Youth and Time | The Old, Old Story | A Classical Beauty |
Related Artists:Alfred Elmore
Irish-born British Painter, 1815-1881
was a Victorian history and genre painter. He was born in Cork, Ireland, the son of Dr. John Richard Elmore, a surgeon who retired from the British Army to Clonakilty. His family moved to London, where Elmore studied at the Royal Academy of Arts. His early works were in the troubadour style of Richard Parkes Bonington, but he soon graduated to religious work, notably The Martyrdom of Thomas Becket, commissioned by Daniel O'Connell for Westland Row Church in Dublin. Between 1840 and 1844 Elmore travelled across Europe, visiting Munich, Venice, Bologna, and Florence. Elmore seems to have been associated with The Clique, a group of young artists who saw themselves as followers of Hogarth and David Wilkie. According to his friend William Powell Frith he was member of the group, but since it was most active while he was in continental Europe, his involvement was probably short-lived. Most of Elmore's later works were historical narrative paintings. Religious Controversy and The Novice were implicitly anti-Catholic in character. Other paintings set episodes from Shakespeare, or the history of the French Revolution. They often contained subtle explorations of the process of creation, most importantly his two paintings about technological innovation, The Invention of the Stocking Loom (1847, Nottingham Castle Museum) and The Invention of the Combing Machine (1862, Cartwright Hall, Bradford). Both portray the process of industrialisation by depicting picturesque pre-industrial handicrafts. The inventor is supposed to be pondering these manual skills while he forms in his mind a mechanism to replace them. Elmore's best-known work is On the Brink (1865; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), a moral genre painting depicting a young woman who has lost her money gambling, and is 'on the brink' of responding to the blandishments of a seducer, who is depicted as a satan-like figure, frederic chopin
Period: Romantic (1820-1869)
Born: March 01, 1810 in Zelazowa Wola, Poland
Died: October 17, 1849 in Paris, France
Genres: Ballet, Chamber Music, Concerto, Keyboard Music, Miscellaneous Music, Vocal Music Leo-Paul Robert