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 :. | Godward Leaning on the Balcony | Study of Campaspe | He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not | Study of Campaspe | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii |
Related Artists:Peale, Sarah Miriam
American Painter, 1800-1885
Painter, daughter of James Peale. The most notable of James Peale's painting daughters, she also studied with her uncle Charles Willson Peale and her cousin Rembrandt Peale, from whom she developed her talent for colour and precision in details. As studio assistant to her father, she occasionally introduced into his work bright and intricate fabrics. Her career began in 1817 with the exhibition of Flowers at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In the 1820s she painted in Baltimore and Philadelphia; in 1824 she was elected to the Pennsylvania Academy. From 1831 to 1846 she maintained her studio in Baltimore where she was a popular portrait painter, producing unpretentious but intelligent and occasionally romantic portraits characterized by a fine concern for materials, as in Mrs Perry Eccleston Noel (c. 1822; Baltimore, Mus. & Lib. MD Hist.). Her sitters included such prominent politicians as Daniel Webster (1842; St Louis, MO Hist. Soc. Mus.) and Abel Park Upshur (1842; Baltimore, Mus. & Lib. MD Hist.). In 1847 Sarah moved to St Louis, MO, where for 32 years she was in great demand. From 1859 her still-lifes won prizes at the St Louis fairs; they were loosely painted works different from the tightly controlled table-top pieces of her father and sister. Sarah's portraiture also changed, from the elegant, precise Neo-classicism learnt from her cousin Rembrandt to a looser, Dan sayre Groesbeck
A California illustration artist.
American , 1879-1950
1877-1899,Norwegian painter and illustrator. His artistic education began at the age of nine, when he enrolled at the school of art of Knud Bergslien (1827-1908) in Kristiania, where he was a pupil from 1886 to 1889. Even from this early period his painted studies and drawings, for instance of his sister Signe and brother Carl (both 1887; Oslo, N.G.), reveal striking maturity. In 1891 he was a pupil of Erik Werenskiold and from 1891 to 1892 he studied at the Arts and Crafts School in Kristiania. Egedius discovered his strongest impetus and greatest inspiration, however, on his first visit to Telemark in south-west Norway in summer 1892. The artist Torleif Stadskleiv (1865-1946), whom he met there and who became his closest friend, endeared the region to Egedius with stories of its traditions and people. In 1894 Egedius studied for a short period under Harriet Backer, and he made his d?but at the Kristiania Autumn Exhibition in 1894 with the painting Saturday Evening (Oslo, N.G.), painted in Telemark the previous year, which won high praise. In this landscape the atmosphere of the summer night is rendered with a lyrical use of colour and soft brushstrokes. Egedius spent the summer of 1894 in the inspiring and instructive company of a group of artists at V?g? in the Gudbrands Valley in north-west Norway, but for the summer of 1895 he was again in Telemark. Since his previous stay there he had matured artistically and his work now revealed a new confidence and boldness. The most notable paintings from 1895 are 'Juvrestolen' in Telemark, The Dreamer, Girls Dancing and the magnificent portrait of Mari Clasen (all Oslo, N.G.). He also began work on Music and Dance (Oslo, N.G., see fig.), which he continued the following year.