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 :. | Old Old Story | A Priestess | A Souvenir | A Classical Beauty In Profile | The Jewel Casket |
Related Artists:GRAFF, Anton
Swiss-born German Painter, 1736-1813
Swiss painter, active in Germany. He was a pupil of Johann Ulrich Schellenburg (1709-95) in Winterthur and continued his training with Johann Jakob Haid in Augsburg between 1756 and 1765. He worked for the court painter Leonhard Schneider (1716-62) in Ansbach from 1757 to 1759, producing large numbers of copies of a portrait of Frederick the Great (probably by Antoine Pesne). This was an important step in furthering his career, as were the months he spent in Regensburg (1764-5) painting miniatures of clerics and town councillors. He was court painter to the Elector Frederick-Christian of Saxe-Weimar in Dresden from 1766 and taught at the Hochschule der Bildende Kenste there. In 1771 he travelled to Berlin, where he painted portraits of Jakob Mendelssohn, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and J. G. Sulzer. Sulzer introduced him at court, which resulted in many commissions. He was invited several times to teach at the Akademie der Kenste in Berlin, but he remained in Dresden. He often travelled to Leipzig, and in summer he frequently went to Teplitz William Morris Davis
February 12, 1850 - February 5, 1934,Davis, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was educated at Harvard. He returned to teach there in 1877 after a period as a meteorologist in Argentina and as an assistant with the North Pacific Survey. He became professor of physical geography in 1890 and of geology in 1898. Davis is acknowledged as the founder of geomorphology, the study of landforms. In his The Rivers and Valleys of Pennsylvania (1889) he first introduced what later became known as the Davisian systems of landscape analysis. His aim was to provide an explanatory description of how landforms change in an ideal situation and his most important contribution to this was his introduction of the cycle of erosion into geographical thought. He proposed a complete cycle of youth, maturity, and old age to describe the evolution of a landscape. In youth rivers occupy steep V-shaped valleys while in old age the valleys are broad. The end product would be a flat featureless plain he called a epeneplaine. This was an ideal cycle but in practice the cycle would invariably be interrupted by Earth movements. It was, nevertheless, strongly attacked by German geographers who objected to it on the grounds that it neglected such vital factors as weathering and climate in transforming the landscape. They also believed him to be undermining their argument that landforms could only be discovered by local fieldwork and the production of regional monographs. Davis also produced an influential work,Francois Lemoine