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 :. | The Old, Old Story | Athenais | Tranquillity | At the Gate of the Temple | Autumn |
Related Artists:Henry Gritten
Australian Landscape artist
was an English/Australian artist. Gritten was the son of a London picture dealer, was born probably in 1817. He studied art and was on friendly terms with David Roberts and other leading artists of the period. He began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1835, and during the next 10 years 12 of his pictures were hung at its exhibitions. He was a more frequent exhibitor at the British Institution, and had 30 of his pictures hung there between 1836 and 1848. In the latter year he went to the United States and in about 1852 arrived in Australia. He went first to the Bendigo goldfields, but soon resumed painting in Victoria and Tasmania; there is a View of Hobart in 1857 by him at the National Library of Australia at Canberra. He was represented at the first exhibition of the Victorian Academy of Art held at Melbourne in 1870. He died suddenly at Melbourne leaving a widow and four children in poor circumstances. Gritten was quite a capable painter of his period who had a hard struggle in Australia. CRIVELLI, Vittorio
Italian painter, Venetian school (b. ca. 1440, Venezia, d. 1501/2, Venezia)TENIERS, David the Elder
Flemish Baroque Era Painter, 1610-1690