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 :. | A Pompeian Lady | Blossoming Red Almond | Nerissa | The Old, Old Story | Flabellifera |
Related Artists:Albani Francesco
Italian painter and draughtsman. He was a distinguished artist of the Bolognese school, deeply influenced by Annibale Carracci's classicism, who worked in Rome as well as Bologna, painting altarpieces, frescoes and and cabinet pictures. His fame rests on his idyllic landscapes and small mythological pictures, Osborne, Walter
Irish painter. The son of the animal painter William Osborne (1823-1901), he trained in the schools of the Royal Hibernian Academy (1876-81). In 1881 he won the Royal Dublin Society's Taylor scholarship and went to study at the Koninklijk Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. Charles Verlat was the professor of painting, and Antwerp was then at the height of its popularity with students from the British Isles. In Antwerp and subsequently in Brittany, Osborne made contact with painters of the Newlyn school and other British naturalists. In Brittany he painted Apple Gathering, Quimperle (1883; Dublin, N.G.), a small greenish-grey picture of a girl in an orchard, which in subject and treatment shows the influence of Jules Bastien-Lepage. Throughout the 1880s Osborne worked in England, joining groups of artists in their search for the ideal naturalist motif. In the autumn of 1884 he was at North Littleton, near Evesham (Heref. & Worcs), where he painted Feeding Chickens in weather so cold that his model, a young peasant girl, nearly fainted. It is carefully drawn but painted with the square-brush technique characteristic of Bastien-Lepage's followers, and is very close to the contemporary work of George Clausen and Edward Stott (1855-1918). At Walberswick in Suffolk he painted October Morning (1885; London, Guildhall A.G.), a carefully studied plein-air work using bright dots of pure colour on a base of beige and grey. During this time Osborne gave careful attention to the showing of his work. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin from 1877 and at the Royal Academy in London from 1886. Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze
German-born American Romantic Painter, 1816-1868,American painter of German birth. When he was nine, Leutze's family emigrated to America and settled in Philadelphia. In 1834 he began to study art with the draughtsman John Rubens Smith (1775-1849). Leutze developed his skills as a portrait painter by taking likenesses to be engraved for publication in the National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans and then working as an itinerant painter. He also experimented with imaginative compositions, such as the Poet's Dream (Philadelphia, PA Acad. F.A.). Philadelphia patrons sponsored his study in Europe, and in 1841 he enrolled at the K?nigliche Kunstakademie in Desseldorf. Although attempts at history painting won approval in Germany and in the USA, Leutze left the academy in 1843. He travelled for two years in Germany and Italy, during which time he became convinced of the importance of freedom and democracy, which he believed to be fundamental institutions of the American political system.