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 :. | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | He Loves Me He Loves Me Not | The Muse Erato at Her Lyre | Study of Campaspe | Venus Binding her Hair |
Related Artists:Alexei Venetsianov
1780 - 1847Antonio Puga
Spanish Baroque Era Painter, 1602-1648Ivan Grohar
Ivan Grohar (15 June 1867 - 19 April 1911) was a Slovene Impressionist painter. Together with Rihard Jakopič, Matej Sternen and Matija Jama, he is considered one of the leading figures of Slovene impressionism in the fin de siecle period.
Grohar was born in the Upper Carniolan village of Spodnja Sorica, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From an early age, he showed an interest in art but he could not develop his talent because he was an orphan and lived in poverty. In 1888, the local vicar Anton Jamnik sent him to an exhibition in the nearby town of Škofja Loka, enabling him to spend the summer working in the town of Kranj under the supervision of the church painter Matija Bradaška. He also travelled to Zagreb, where he worked in the atelier of Spiridion Milanesi, until he was conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian Army. He disliked the military life, so he deserted and fled to Venice, in Italy. Left with nothing, he appealed to the Austro-Hungarian consulate. In 1889 a court sentenced him to a short stay in prison and extended his military service by one year.
Ivan Grohar: Brna from 1899In 1892, he applied to the Carniolan Provincial Diet for financial assistance to study at the Graz school of painting, which he received. Two years later, he applied for assistance to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. This assistance was also approved, but despite his excellent exam result, he was not accepted to the Academy because he had not finished his studies in Graz. He continued his schooling in Graz and finished it at the end of 1894. In August 1896, he opened his own atelier in Škofja Loka. He also worked in Munich, where he attended Anton Ažbe school of art. Back home, he befriended the impressionist painter Rihard Jakopič. In autumn of 1900, he took part in the first Slovene Artistse Exhibition, organised by the Slovene Artistic Association (Slovensko umetniško društvo, SUD). He was elected to the position of treasurer of the SUD, but illegally borrowed money from the association, for which he was sentenced to three monthse imprisonment. On his release, he left for Vienna.