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 :. | Reverie | A Priestess | He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not | At the Gate of the Temple | He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not |
Related Artists:Thomas Hearne
British Painter, 1744-1817
English painter and engraver. From 1765 to 1771 Hearne studied printmaking as apprentice to the landscape engraver William Woollett, exhibiting watercolours meanwhile at the Free Society of Artists and the Society of Artists. In 1771 he abandoned engraving and accompanied Sir Ralph Payne to the Leeward Islands (where Payne had just been appointed Governor), returning in 1775; several of his fastidious watercolours of Antigua survive, for example the Court House and Guard House in the Town of St John's in the Island of Antigua (n.d.; London, V&A). From then on British topography was his main concern. He travelled widely in England, Scotland and Wales with Sir George Beaumont and from these excursions was able to provide 84 drawings which, engraved by William Byrne, were published as The Antiquities of Great Britain (1778-81). This series set new standards in the pictorial recording of medieval architecture. Hearne also provided drawings for etchings of landscapes and 'rural sports'. John Kensett
John Kensett Art Galleries
Artist John Frederick Kensett was born on March 22, 1816 in Cheshire, Connecticut, and died on December 14, 1872 in New York City. He attended school at Cheshire Academy, and studied engraving with his immigrant father, Thomas Kensett, and later with his uncle, Alfred Dagget. He worked as engraver in the New Haven area until about 1838, after which he went to work as a bank note engraver in New York City.
In 1840, along with Asher Durand and John William Casilear, Kensett traveled to Europe in order to study painting. There he met and traveled with Benjamin Champney. The two sketched and painted throughout Europe, refining their talents. During this period, Kensett developed an appreciation and affinity for 17th century Dutch landscape painting. Kensett and Champney returned to the United States in 1847.
After establishing his studio and settling in New York, Kensett traveled extensively throughout the Northeast and the Colorado Rockies as well as making several trips back to Europe.
Kensett is best known for his landscape of upstate New York and New England and seascapes of coastal New Jersey, Long Island and New England. He is most closely associated with the so-called "second generation" of the Hudson River School. Along with Sanford Robinson Gifford, Fitz Hugh Lane, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Martin Johnson Heade and others, the works of the "Luminists," as they came to be known, were characterized by unselfconscious, nearly invisible brushstrokes used to convey the qualities and effects of atmospheric light. It could be considered the spiritual, if not stylistic, cousin to Impressionism. Such spiritualism stemmed from Transcendentalist philosophies of sublime nature and contemplation bringing one closer to a spiritual truth.
In 1851 Kensett painted a monumental canvas of Mount Washington that has become an icon of White Mountain art. Mount Washington from the Valley of Conway was purchased by the American Art Union, made into an engraving by James Smillie, and distributed to 13,000 Art Union subscribers throughout the country. Other artists painted copies of this scene from the print. Currier and Ives published a similar print in about 1860. This single painting by Kensett helped to popularize the White Mountain region of New Hampshire.
Kensett's style evolved gradually, from the traditional Hudson River School manner in the 1850s into the more refined Luminist style in his later years. By the early 1870s Kensett was spending considerable time at his home on Contentment Island, on Long Island Sound near Darien, Connecticut.Taddeo di Bartolo
Italian Gothic Era Painter, ca.1362-1422
Italian painter. Taddeo, son of the barber Bartolo di Mino, was under 25 in 1386 when he was first recorded, painting statuettes of angels for the new choir-stalls in Siena Cathedral. In 1388-9 he was a counsellor to the Cathedral Works and in 1389 he was first listed as an independent painter. His earliest dated work is the polyptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (1389; sold London, Christie's, 8 Dec 1950), painted for the chapel of S Paolo at Collegarli, near San Miniato al Tedesco.