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 | Endymion | A Classical Beauty | The Mirror | Le Billet Doux (The Love Letter) |
Related Artists:Jan Baptist Weenix
(Amsterdam, 1621- Vleuten 1660), a painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Despite his relatively brief career, he was a very productive and versatile painter. His favourite subjects were Italian landscapes with large figures among ruins, seaside views, and, later in life, large still life pictures of dead game or dogs. He was mainly responsible for introducing the Italian harbour scene into Dutch art, in mid-size paintings with a group of figures in the foreground.
Weenix was the son of an architect and born near Amsterdam's harbour. He could not speak well, apparently from a medical condition, and because he very much liked to read books, his mother sent him to work for a bookseller, who was not able to deal with him. He drew whenever he could, according to Jan Weenix his son, who told the story to Arnold Houbraken.
Weenix first studied under Jan Micker, then in Utrecht under Abraham Bloemaert, and later back in Amsterdam under Claes Cornelisz. Moeyaert. In 1643 Weenix travelled to Rome with Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem. He had left his home secretly, but his wife, the daughter of Gillis d'Hondecoeter, traced him to Rotterdam. Then he was allowed to stay away for four months. In Rome he became a member of the Bentvueghels and was much esteemed and worked for Pope Innocent X. He returned to Amsterdam after four years; his wife had refused to come to Rome.
In 1649 he became master of the guild of St. Luke in Utrecht and also painted a portrait of Rene Descartes. When his brother-in-law Gijsbert d'Hondecoeter died, he trained his nephew Melchior d'Hondecoeter, together with his own son Jan Weenix. Weenix moved to a castle outside Utrecht, to concentrate on his work or for health reasons, where he probably died in poor circumstances, at an unknown date.
He painted a few religious scenes, one of the rare pieces of this kind being the "Jacob and Esau" (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden). In the National Gallery, London, is a "Hunting Scene" by Weenix, and Glasgow has a characteristic painting of ruins. Weenix is represented at most of the important continental galleries, notably at Munich, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, and St Petersburg.
Cornelis Bega Galleries
Dutch painter, draughtsman and etcher. He was born into prosperous circumstances; his mother, Maria Cornelis, inherited half the estate (gold, silver, paintings, drawings and prints) and all of the red chalk drawings of her father, Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem, a renowned Mannerist artist. Begas father was Pieter Jansz. Begijn (d 1648), a gold- and silversmith. Like other family members, Bega was probably Catholic. Houbrakens claim that Bega studied with Adriaen van Ostade is likely to be correct; this was probably before 24 April 1653, when Bega joined Vincent Laurentsz. van der Vinne in Frankfurt for a journey through Germany, Switzerland and France. Bega had returned to Haarlem by 1 September 1654, at which time he joined the Guild of St Luke; he was already a competent draughtsman, as indicated by his first extant dated work, Interior with a Nursing Mother (1652; Frankfurt am Main, Stedel. Kstinst.), and by a remarkable double portrait (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.) drawn by him and Leendert van der Cooghen in 1654.
French painter and engraver Luigi Loir (1845-1916).