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 :. | Campaspe | Study of Campaspe | Youth and Time | A Priestess | The Mirror |
Related Artists:OOST, Jacob van, the Younger
Flemish painter (b. 1639, Brugge, d. 1713, Brugge)Giacomo Di Chirico
Giacomo Di Chirico (25 January 1844 - 26 December 1883) was an italian painter. Together with Domenico Morelli and Filippo Palizzi, he was one of the most elite Neapolitan artists of the 19th century. He received the official title eKnight of Italye from King Victor Emmanuel II.
Panini, Giovanni Paolo
Italian Neoclassical Painter, ca.1691-1765
Italian painter, architect and stage designer. He was a highly prolific and versatile painter, best known for his numerous vedute of Rome, many of which focused on the remnants of the city's Classical past. Ceremonies and festivals often feature in his vedute, which thus constitute a lively documentation of contemporary topography, lifestyle and customs. In contrast to Bernardo Bellotto and Gaspar van Wittel, his treatment is picturesque rather than rigorous; he liked to enliven and animate his views by adding numerous figures. He worked exclusively in Rome and by the end of his career was the head of a thriving workshop that included the Frenchman Hubert Robert (in Rome from 1754) and Panini's son Francesco Panini (b 1738).