John William Godward
John William Godward's
Oil Paintings

John William Godward Museum
9 August 1861-13 December 1922, was an English painter.

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John William Godward
By the Wayside
1912(1912) Oil on canvas 49 1/8 X 32 5/8 inches (125 X 83 cm)
ID: 68051

John William Godward By the Wayside
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John William Godward By the Wayside


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John William Godward

English 1861-1922 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 :. | Autumn | A Classical Beauty In Profile | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | At the Garden Shrine Pompeii | Summer Flowers |
Related Artists:
SWANEVELT, Herman van
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1600-1655 Dutch painter, draughtsman and etcher, active in France and Italy. His first signed and dated works are two views of Paris dated 1623 (Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Mus.). He was in Rome from 1629 to 1641. His earliest dated painting there is an Old Testament Scene (1630; The Hague, Mus. Bredius; see fig.), a compositional formula that he often used, with some variations, in Rome. A flat, low foreground is closed on the left by a house and a tree; on the right is a distant hilly scene; and groups of figures are disposed horizontally. This design, derived from Cornelis van Poelenburch, is well suited to van Swanevelt's many landscapes with biblical and mythological subjects. The large tree extending beyond the frame gives a monumental touch to the composition.
etienne Prosper Berne-Bellecour
1838-1910
Antoine Leon Morel-Fatio
French, 1810-1871






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