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 :. | He Loves Me He Loves Me Not | Mischief | The Tease | A Souvenir | Athenais |
Related Artists:Julie Wilhelmine Hagen-Schwarz
(born October 27, 1824 near Tartu - died Tartu October 7, 1902) was an Estonian painter of Baltic German origin. She studied in Dresden with Friedrich Gonne and later in Munich with Johann Moritz Rugendas.Richard Wilson
Welsh Romantic Painter, ca.1713-1782
was a Welsh landscape painter, and one of the founder members of the Royal Academy in 1768. Wilson has been described as '...the most distinguished painter Wales has ever produced and the first to appreciate the aesthetic possibilities of his country.' Wilson is considered to be the father of landscape painting in Britain. The son of a clergyman, Wilson was born in Penegoes, Montgomeryshire. The family was an old and respected one, and Wilson was first cousin to Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden. In 1729 he went to London where he began as a portrait painter, under the apprentership of an obscure artist, Thomas Wright. From 1750 to 1757 he was in Italy and adopted landscape on the advice of Francesco Zuccarelli. Painting in Italy and afterwards in England, he was the first major British painter to primarily concentrate on landscape. He composed well, but saw and rendered only the general effects of nature thereby creating a personal, ideal style influenced by Claude Lorrain and the Dutch landscape tradition. According to John Ruskin, he "paints in a manly way, and occasionally reaches exquisite tones of colour." He concentrated on painting Italianate landscapes and landscapes based upon classsical literature, but when his painting The Destruction of the Children of Niobe (c.1759-60) won high acclaim he gained many commissions from wealthy families seeking classical potrayals of their estates. Joseph Highmore
Joseph Highmore Gallery
Joseph Highmore (3 June 1692?C1780), was a British portrait and historical painter.
Born in London in 1692, he displayed early a strong ability, particularly for the fine arts, which was discouraged by his family, who rather saw him as a solicitor. However, all his spare time was dominated by his favourite pursuit and, upon the ending of his clerkship at the age of seventeen, he abandoned law and resolved to trust in future to his talents as a painter alone for his chance of fame and fortune.
His gamble paid off and he continued to improve his reputation and upon the revival of the Order of the Bath in 1725, he was selected to paint the knights in full costume. The years 1732 to 1734 were spent on a tour of the Netherlands and France and on his return to England, he applied himself to perfecting his talent, which continued for the next 50 years of his life, until his death.
Among his best works are biblical "Histories", historical painting being a style which Highmore had picked up on his travels in France. One such biblical painting is Hagar and Ishmael, which was donated to the Foundling Hospital for the purpose of decorating its Court Room (the room where the Court of Governors met). The painting is still part of the Foundling Hospital art collection and can now be seen at the Foundling Museum in London.
As an author, he was best known for the rather longwindedly titled Critical Examination of Reubens' two Paintings in the Banqueting House and Observations on Bodwell's Pamphlet against Christianity.