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 :. | Idle Thoughts | A Souvenir | Study of Campaspe | Idleness | Drusilla |
Related Artists:Gottfried Trimborn
painted Rheinfahre in 1920Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville
(31 May 1835 - 18 May 1885) was a French Academic painter who studied under Eugene Delacroix. His dramatic and intensely patriotic subjects illustrated episodes from the Franco-Prussian War, the Crimean War, the Zulu War and portraits of soldiers. Some of his works have been collected by the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and by the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
The Last Cartridges, 1873
The Defence of Rorke's Drift, oil on canvas painting by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville, 1880, Art Gallery of New South Wales. This incident occurred on 22 January 1879, in the Anglo-Zulu War.
La bataille de VillersexelHe was born to wealthy parents at Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais. From school he went to college, where he took his degree of bachelier -lettres. In spite of the opposition of his family he entered the naval school at Lorient, and it was there, in 1856, that his artistic instincts first declared themselves.
After being discouraged by several painters of repute, he was admitted to work in François-Edouard Picot's studio. He did not remain there long, and he was painting by himself when he produced his first picture, The Fifth Battalion of Chasseurs at the Gervais Battery (Malakoff). In 1860 Neuville painted an Episode of the taking of Naples by Garibaldi for the Artists' Club in the rue de Provence, and sent to the Paris Salon in 1861 The Guard Chasseurs in the Trenches of the Mamelon Vert.
He participated in illustrating the Hetzel editions of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He also illustrated Le Tour du monde and Guizot's History of France. At the same time he painted a number of remarkable pictures: The Attack in the Streets of Magenta by Zouaves and the Light Horse (1864), A Zouave Sentinel (1865), The Battle of San Lorenzo (1867), and Dismounted Cavalry crossing the Tchernaia (1869). In these he showed peculiar insight into military life, but his full power was not reached until after the Franco-Prussian War. He then aimed at depicting in his works the episodes of that war, and began by representing the Bivouac before Le Bourget (1872). His fame spread rapidly, and was increased by The Last Cartridges (1873), memorializing an episode involving the Blue Division of the French marines, in which it is easy to discern the vast difference between the conventional treatment of military subjects, as practised by Horace Vernet, and that of a man who had lived the life that he painted.
In 1874 the Fight on a Railroad was not less successful, and was followed by the Attack on a House at Villersexel (1875) and the Railway Bridge at Styring (1877). In 1878 the painter exhibited (not at the Great Exhibition) Le Bourget, the Surprise at Daybreak, The Intercepted Despatch-bearer, and a considerable number of drawings. He also exhibited in London some episodes of the Zulu War. Fifty thousand people paid to see his impression of The Defence of Rorke's Drift (1880), which the infant Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney paid a large sum to acquire.
In 1881 he was made an officer of the Legion d'honneur for The Cemetery of Saint-Privat and The Despatch-bearer and the "Huns in the Battle of Chalon." During these years Neuville was at work with Édouard Detaille on an important though less artistic work, The Panorama of Rezonville. Neuville died in Paris on May 18, 1885. At the sale of his works the state purchased for the Palais du Luxembourg the Bourget and the Attack on a Barricaded House, with a water-color The Parley, and a drawing of a Turco in Fighting Trim.
GOYEN, Jan van
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1596-1656
Jan van Goyen was born in Leiden on Jan. 13, 1596. Apprenticed from the age of 10, he had several masters. About 1617 he went to Haarlem to study with Esaias van de Velde, an important innovator in the Haarlem movement of realistic landscape painting. Van Goyen's works between 1621 and 1625 are sometimes hard to distinguish from those of his teacher. They are colorful, detailed views of villages and roads, usually busy with people, as in Winter (1621). It was Van Goyen's usual practice to sign or monogram and date his paintings. He traveled extensively through the Netherlands and beyond, recording his impressions in sketchbooks, occasionally with dates and often depicting recognizable scenes. Thus the chronology of his development is clear. His paintings of the late 1620s show a steady advance from the strong colors and scattered organization of his early works toward tonality and greater simplicity and unity of composition. By 1630 he was painting monochromes in golden brown or pale green; he played a leading part in the tonal phase of Dutch landscape painting. In 1631 Van Goyen settled in The Hague, where he became a citizen in 1634. The simplicity, airiness, and unification of his compositions continued to increase in his abundant production of dune landscapes, river views, seascapes, town views, and winter landscapes. The River View (1636) displays a river so open and extensive as to suggest the sea, with reflections that prolong the vast and luminous sky. In its monumentalization of humble structures and its composition built on a firm scaffolding of horizontal and vertical forces, it forecast at this early date developments that dominated landscape painting in the 1650s and later. In the Village and Dunes (1647) the traditional double-diagonal composition still exists, but it is dominated by horizontal and vertical accents. Stronger contrasts of light and dark replace the earlier tonality. In the last year of his life Van Goyen produced an eloquent new style, in which powerful forms stand out against the radiant sky and water in an exquisitely balanced composition (Evening Calm; 1656). The commission in 1651 to paint a panoramic view of The Hague for the Burgomaster's Room shows the high regard in which Van Goyen was held. He was enormously productive; well over 1,000 of his paintings still exist, and almost as many drawings. Yet he died insolvent, perhaps because of losses in his various business ventures, and soon after his death on April 27, 1656,