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 :. | Dolce far Niente | A Grecian Lovely | Autumn | A Priestess | Classical Beauty |
Related Artists:Nikolay Sergeyev
painted Apple blossom. In Little Russia in 1895Carl Spitzweg
German Painter, 1808-1885
German painter. He trained (1825-8), at his father's insistence, as a pharmacist, by 1829 becoming manager of a pharmacy in the Straubing district of Munich. From 1830 to 1832 he made advanced studies in pharmacy, botany and chemistry at the University of Munich, passing his final examination with distinction. On receiving a large legacy in 1833, which made him financially independent, he decided to become a painter. He had drawn since the age of 15 and had frequented artistic circles since the late 1820s; but he had no professional training as a painter. He learnt much from contacts with young Munich landscape painters such as Eduard Schleich the elder and produced his first oil paintings in 1834. In 1835 he became a member of the Munich Kunstverein but left two years later due to disappointment over the reception of the first version of the Poor Poet (1837; Munich, Neue Pin.; second version 1839; Berlin, Neue N.G.), a scene of gently humorous pathos that has since become his most celebrated work. Spitzweg's decision to leave the Kunstverein, however, was also encouraged by his first successful attempts to sell his paintings independently. In 1839 he travelled to Dalmatia, where he made sketches that he used for many later works on Turkish themes (e.g. the Turkish Coffee House, c. 1860; Munich, Schack-Gal.). From the 1840s he travelled regularly, usually with his close friend, the painter Schleich, both within Bavaria and to Austria and Switzerland and also to the Adriatic coast, especially to Trieste.Pierre Bonnard
French Nabi Painter, 1867-1947
French painter, printmaker and photographer. He is known particularly for the decorative qualities of his paintings and his individual use of colour. During his life he was associated with other artists, Edouard Vuillard being a good friend