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 :. | Ionian Dancing Girl | A Classical Beauty | At the Gate of the Temple | Lesbia with her Sparrow | Classical Beauty |
Related Artists:William Strutt
English Painter, ca.1825-1915
was an English artist. Strutt was born in Teignmouth, Devon, England, and came from a family of artists, his grandfather, Joseph Strutt, was a well-known author and artist, his father, William Thomas Strutt, was a good miniature painter. William Strutt enjoyed a student life in Paris, France, and England, studying figurative and history painting. In response to a near-breakdown and problems with his eyes, Strutt decided to visit Australia, arriving 5 July 1850 on the Culloden, where he then married. In Melbourne, Strutt found employment as an illustrator on the short-lived Illustrated Australian Magazine, published by Thomas Ham, as there was little demand for the figurative and history paintings for which he was trained. Some of his designs did, however, lead to commissions, including a design for a new postage stamp, and an Anti-Transportation League card. Despite the lack of interest for major history paintings in Melbourne, Strutt continued to sketch suitable subjects, including the "Black Thursday" bushfires, which swept over the colony on 6 February 1851. It was from these sketches that Strutt composed one of his most notable paintings some 10 years later, Black Thursday, February 6th. 1851, 1864, which depicted animals and men fleeing from the fire. In February 1852, Strutt joined the growing tide of men travelling to the gold-fields surrounding Ballarat, Victoria. Despite working in the gold fields for eighteen months he found little success. He returned to Melbourne in mid-1853 and became actively involved in the city's cultural scene, undertaking a number of portrait commissions and joining the Victorian Society of Fine Arts as a founding member. William Strutt, Portrait of John Pascoe Fawkner, founder of Melbourne, 1856: oil on canvas; 61.3 x 51.2 cm. National Library of Australia.Strutt's interest in depicting the notable events of the colony was piqued by the events surrounding the Victorian Exploring Expedition led by Burke and Wills in 1860-61. He made several studies of their preparations at Royal Park, Melbourne, and followed the expedition to its first camp at Essendon, Victoria. Strutt also collected first-hand accounts from the rescue party and from John King,BIJLERT, Jan van
Dutch painter, Utrecht school (b. 1597/98, Utrecht, d. 1671, Utrecht)
Dutch painter. He was the son of the Utrecht glass painter Herman Beerntsz. van Bijlert (c. 1566-before 1615). Jan must have trained first with his father but was later apprenticed to the painter Abraham Bloemaert. After his initial training, he visited France and travelled to Italy, as did other artists from Utrecht. Jan stayed mainly in Rome, where he became a member of the Schildersbent; he returned to Utrecht in 1624. In Rome he and the other Utrecht artists had come under the influence of the work of Caravaggio; after their return home, this group of painters, who became known as the UTRECHT CARAVAGGISTI, adapted the style of Caravaggio to their own local idiom. The Caravaggesque style, evident in van Bijlert's early paintings.Nikolai Kasatkin