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 Grecian Girl | Noonday Rest | A Classical Beauty | Erato at Her Lyre | A Souvenir |
Related Artists:William Frederick Yeames,RA
English painter. The son of a British consul in Russia, Yeames was sent to school in Dresden after the death of his father in 1842. He also studied painting there. The collapse of the Yeames family fortune resulted in a move to London in 1848, where Yeames learnt anatomy and composition from George Scharf (1788-1860). He later took lessons from F. A. Westmacott. In 1852 he continued his artistic education in Florence under Enrico Pollastrini and Raphael Buonajuto, from whom he learnt the methods of the Old Masters. He drew from frescoes by Ghirlandaio, Gozzoli and Andrea del Sarto and painted in the Life School at the Grand Ducal Academy. He then went to Rome and made landscape studies and copied Old Masters, including Raphael's frescoes in the Vatican. His extensive study of Italian art gave him a precision and facility that assisted his artistic success upon his return to London in 1859. There he set up a studio in Park Place and became involved with the ST JOHN'S WOOD CLIQUE. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British Institution from 1859 and became an ARA in 1866. Hafiz i Abru
the period of 1465-1535
Sweden (1847-1916 ) - Painter