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 :. | The Tease | Ionian Dancing Girl | Erato at Her Lyre | Contemplation | Reverie |
Related Artists:Leopold Robert
(13 May 1794 - 20 March 1835), Swiss painter, was born at La Chaux-de-Fonds (Neuchâtel) in Switzerland, but left his native place with the engraver Girardet at the age of sixteen for Paris.
He was on the eve of obtaining the grand prix for engraving when the events of 1815 blasted his hopes, for Neuchâtel was restored to Prussia, and Robert was struck off the list of competitors as a foreigner. Whilst continuing his studies under Girardet he had never ceased to frequent the studio of David, and he now determined to become a painter, and only returned to his native country when his master himself was exiled. At Neuchâtel he attracted the notice of Roullet de Mezerac, who enabled him by a timely loan to proceed to Rome. In depicting the customs and life of the people, of southern Italy especially, he showed peculiar feeling for the historical characteristics of their race.
After executing many detached studies of Italian life Robert conceived the idea of painting four great works which should represent at one and the same time the four seasons in Italy and the four leading races of its people. In the "Return from the Fete of the Madonna dell'Arco" (Louvre) he depicted the Neapolitans and the spring. This picture, exhibited at the Salon of 1827, achieved undoubted success and was bought for the Luxembourg by Charles X; but the work which appeared in 1831 the "Summer Reapers arriving in the Pontine Marshes" (Louvre), which became the property of Louis Philippe established the artist's reputation.
Florence and her autumn vineyards should now have furnished him with his third subject. He attempted to begin it, but, unable to conquer his passion for Princess Charlotte Napoleon (then mourning the violent death of her husband, Robert's devoted friend), he threw up his work and went to Venice, where he began and carried through the fourth of the series, the "Fishers of the Adriatic." This work was not equal to the "Reapers." Worn by the vicissitudes of painful feeling, and bitterly discouraged, Robert committed suicide before his easel on 20 March 1835, on the tenth anniversary of the melancholy suicide of a brother to whom he had been much attached.
(September 10, 1807 - July 7, 1862), Austrian painter, son of the landscape painter Jacob Gauermann (1773 - 1843), was born at Miesenbach near Gutenstein in Lower Austria.
It was the intention of his father that he should devote himself to agriculture, but the example of an elder brother, who, however, died early, fostered his inclination towards art. Under his father's direction he began studies in landscape, and he also diligently copied the works of the chief masters in animal painting which were contained in the academy and court library of Vienna. In the summer he made art tours in the districts of Styria, Tirol, and Salzburg.
Two animal pieces which he exhibited at the Vienna Exhibition of 1824 were regarded as remarkable productions for his years, and led to his receiving commissions in 1825 and 1826 from Prince Metternich and Caraman, the French ambassador. His reputation was greatly increased by his picture "The Storm," exhibited in 1829, and from that time his works were much sought after and obtained correspondingly high prices. His "Field Labourer" was regarded by many as the most noteworthy picture in the Vienna exhibition of 1834, and his numerous animal pieces have entitled him to a place in the first rank of painters of that class of subjects.
The peculiarity of his pictures is the representation of human and animal figures in connexion with appropriate landscapes and in characteristic situations so as to manifest nature as a living whole, and he particularly excels in depicting the free life of animals in wild mountain scenery. Along with great mastery of the technicalities of his art, his works exhibit patient and keen observation, free and correct handling of details, and bold and clear colouring. He died at Vienna on the 7th of July 1862.
Many of his pictures have been engraved, and after his death a selection of fifty-three of his works was prepared for this purpose by the Austrian Kunstverein (Art Union).
MOLENAER, Jan Miense
Dutch painter (b. ca. 1610, Haarlem, d. 1668, Haarlem).
Dutch painter and draughtsman. The surprisingly large oeuvre of this remarkably versatile genre painter displays an inventive symbolism, wit and humour, which identify him as the true forerunner of Jan Steen.