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 :. | Campaspe | Endymion | A Classical Beauty | Autumn | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder |
Related Artists:METSU, Gabriel
Dutch painter (b. 1629, Leiden, d. 1667, Amsterdam).STANZIONE, Massimo
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1585-1656
Italian painter. Primarily a painter of altarpieces and frescoes, his large production and vast following of students and imitators made him perhaps the leading Neapolitan painter in the first half of the 17th century. He was known as the great rival of Jusepe de Ribera, and for most of the 1630s and 1640s he and Ribera dominated painting in Naples. Stanzione's rich colour and idealized naturalism, for which he was called 'il Guido Reni napoletano', definitively influenced numerous local artists and remained discernible in the earliest works (1670s) of Francesco Solimena. Only a few portraits and mythological paintings by Stanzione are known, Ambrosius Bosschaert
(Antwerp, January 18, 1573?CThe Hague, 1621) was a still life painter of the Dutch Golden Age.He started his career in Antwerp, but spend most of it in Middelburg (1593?C1613), where he became dean of the painters' guild. He later worked in Amsterdam (1614), Bergen op Zoom (1615?C1616), Utrecht (1616?C1619), and Breda (1619). He specialised in painting still lifes with flowers. In 1587, Ambrosius Bosschaert moved from Antwerp to Middelburg with his family because of the threat of religious persecution. At the age of twenty-one, he joined the cityes Guild of Saint Luke. Not long after, Bosschaert had established himself as a leading figure in the fashionable floral painting genre.