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 :. | A Pompeian Lady | Mischief | Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder | Priestess | Idle Thoughts |
Related Artists:Antonio Fiorentino
Italian, 14th CenturyWilliam Merritt Chase
American Impressionist Painter, 1849-1916
American painter and printmaker. He received his early training in Indianapolis from the portrait painter Barton S. Hays (1826-75). In 1869 he went to New York to study at the National Academy of Design where he exhibited in 1871. That year he joined his family in St Louis, where John Mulvaney (1844-1906) encouraged him to study in Munich. With the support of several local patrons, enabling him to live abroad for the next six years, Chase entered the Kenigliche Akademie in Munich in 1872. Among his teachers were Alexander von Wagner (1838-1919), Karl Theodor von Piloty and Wilhelm von Diez (1839-1907). Chase also admired the work of Wilhelm Leibl. The school emphasized bravura brushwork, a technique that became integral to Chase's style, favoured a dark palette and encouraged the study of Old Master painters, particularly Diego Velezquez and Frans Hals. Among Chase's friends in Munich were the American artists Walter Shirlaw, J. Frank Currier and Frederick Dielman (1847-1935)Weeks Lord-Edwin
American artist, was born at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1849. He was a pupil of Leon Bonnat and of Jean-Leon Gerome, at Paris. He made many voyages to the East, and was distinguished as a painter of oriental scenes. In 1895 he wrote and illustrated a book of travels, From the Black Sea through Persia and India, and two years later he published Episodes of Mountaineering. He died in November 1903. He was a member of the Legion d'honneur, France, an officer of the Order of St. Michael, Germany, and a member of the Secession, Munich.