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 :. | An Offering to Venus | The Old, Old Story | The engagement ring | Under the Blossom that Hangs on the Bough | Campaspe |
Related Artists:Sebastian Stosskopff
French Academic Painter, 1804-1868,French painter, illustrator and writer. His early training was as a theatrical scene painter and a designer of lithographic illustrations. In Bordeaux he studied with Pierre Lacour (ii) (1778-1859) and worked with Thomas Olivier (1772-1839), chief scene designer at the Grand-Thetre. He subsequently studied in Paris in the studio of the landscape and history painter Julien-Michel Gue (1789-1843) and worked for the decorators of the Thetre Italien. Antoine de Favray
French, 1706-died circa 1791,French painter. He is not documented until 1738, when he was mentioned as a private pupil of Jean-Fran?ois de Troy (ii), who was then director of the Acad?mie de France in Rome; in 1739 he became an official student at the Acad?mie. Among his student works is a copy (untraced) of Raphael's Fire in the Borgo (Rome, Vatican, Stanza dell'Incendio), which was mentioned by Charles de Brosses and exhibited in Paris in 1741. In 1744, for reasons that are not clear, he left Rome for Malta, remaining there for much of the rest of his career and devoting himself primarily to portraiture and genre painting. His ambition as a history painter, however, was fulfilled to a certain extent as a result of the patronage of two Grand Masters of the Order of the Knights of Malta, Manoel Pinto da Fonseca and Emmanuel de Rohan. His first dated picture executed in Malta is a Portrait of a Maltese Lady (1745; Paris, Louvre).