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
Classical Beauty
mk221 1906 Oil on canvas 40.6x30.5cm
ID: 51793

John William Godward Classical Beauty
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John William Godward Classical Beauty


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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 :. | Idle Thoughts | Godward Leaning on the Balcony | Under the Blossom that Hangs on the Bough | A Classical Beauty | He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not |
Related Artists:
Tobias Verhaecht
(Antwerp, 1561 - 1631) was a painter and draughtsman active in Antwerp, Florence and Rome. Primarily a landscape painter, his style is indebted to mannerist world landscapes of artists like Joachim Patinir with high viewpoints, fantastic distant perspectives and three-colour scheme. Before Verhaecht entered Antwerp's guild of St. Luke in 1590-91, he had already spent time in Italy, first in Florence, and then as a fresco painter in Rome. Peter Paul Rubens, who was a relative by marriage, studied with him around 1592, and another student was his own son, Willem van Haecht. Verhaecht is also known for his designs for prints.
Michel Sittow
(c.1469-1525) was a painter from Reval (now Tallinn, Estonia) who was trained in the tradition of Early Netherlandish painting. For most of his life, Sittow worked as a court portrait painter, for Isabella of Castille, the Habsburgs and others in Spain and the Netherlands. He was one of the most important Flemish painters of the era.
Vasiliy Polenov
Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov (Russian: 1 June 1844 - 18 July 1927) was a Russian landscape painter associated with the Peredvizhniki movement of realist artists. BiographyA native of St.Petersburg, Polenov studied under Pavel Chistyakov and in the Imperial Academy of Arts from 1863 to 1871. He was classmate and close friend to Rafail Levitsky, fellow Peredvizhniki artist and famous photographer. Their letters which remain today in Polenov's house museum are an interesting account of the many art exhibitions, movements and artists of their day.






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