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 :. | Study of Campaspe | A Classical Beauty In Profile | With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue | He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not | Mischief |
Related Artists:Frederick Goodall
British Painter, 1822-1904
Painter, son of Edward Goodall. He was taught by his father and first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1838. His earliest subjects were rural genre scenes and landscapes, many derived from sketching trips made between 1838 and 1857 in Normandy, Brittany, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Venice. In the 1850s he also painted subjects from British history. More significant for his subsequent career was his visit to Egypt from September 1858 to April 1859. In Cairo he lived in a house in the Coptic quarter with Carl Haag. Together the two artists went on expeditions to Giza to draw the Nile, the Sphinx and Pyramids, and to Suez and across the Red Sea to the Wells of Moses at 'Uyen Mesa. Goodall also made rapid sketches in the crowded streets of Cairo. 'My sole object in paying my first visit to Egypt', he wrote, 'was to paint Scriptural subjects'. The first of these, Early Morning in the Wilderness of Shur (London, Guildhall A.G.), was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1860 and won him critical and popular acclaim. In 1864 he was elected RA. Much of the rest of Goodall's long career was devoted to painting similar scenes of Egyptian life with biblical associations, for which he made reference to his sketches and to Egyptian artefacts and clothing. Their success prompted a second visit to Egypt in 1870-71.Erasmus Quellinus
1607-1678 Flemish Erasmus Quellinus Gallery John Steuart Curry
American Regionalist Painter,
American painter and illustrator. As one of the 'Regionalist triumvirate', with Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, he has been most often characterized as a faithful chronicler of rural life in Kansas. From 1916 to 1918 he was at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1919 he began study in the studio of Harvey Dunn (1884-1952) in Tenafly, NJ. After seven years as an illustrator in and around New York, he went to Paris in 1926 to study with the Russian Academician Vasily Shukhayev. Ironically, it was on Curry's return to the East Coast the following year that he began to earn his reputation as a Regionalist by painting memories of Kansas from his studio in the fashionable art colony of Westport, CT. Baptism in Kansas