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 :. | At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii | A Classical Beauty In Profile | Flabellifera | The Tease | Autumn |
Related Artists:Fernand Hodler
Day I,1899-1900Harriet Backer
Norwegian Painter, 1845-1932
Norwegian painter. In the 1860s and early 1870s she took lessons in drawing and painting in Christiania (now Oslo) and also travelled extensively in Europe with her sister Agathe, a composer and pianist. She copied works in major museums and took occasional art lessons; she later considered this experience to have been of fundamental importance to her artistic development. Little Red Riding Hood (1872; Oslo, N.G.) is impressive in technique, and the early portrait of her sister, Agathe Backer-Grendahl (1874; Holmestrand, Komm.), shows a refined colour scheme. At the age of nearly 30 Backer decided to train professionally as a painter and in 1874 went to Munich. She was never attached to a particular institution, but the influence of her friend the artist Eilif Peterssen was crucial to her development. In Munich she made a thorough study of perspective, which formed a secure basis for her later work.Arnold Boonen
Arnold van Boonen was a Dutch eminent portrait painter, was born at Dordrecht, in the Dutch Republic in 1669. He was first a scholar of Arnold Verbius, and was later instructed by Godefried Schalken. He painted genre pictures in the style of the latter, representing subjects by candlelight, but met with such encouragement in portrait painting that he devoted himself almost wholly to that branch of art. His style was well adapted to succeed in it. An excellent oolourist, a faithful designer of his model, and highly skilled, he was soon distinguished as one of the ablest artists of his day. He painted a great number of portraits of the most distinguished people of his time, among whom were Peter the Great, the Elector of Mentz, the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, the Prince and Princess of Orange, the great Duke of Marlborough, and several others. He painted some large pictures for the halls of the different companies at Amsterdam and Dordrecht. He died in 1729.
The Dresden Gallery has seven works by him, and the 'Woman Singing' in the Lille Gallery is also attributed to him. His son, Kasper van Boonen, also painted portraits, but in no way proved himself equal to his father.