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 :. | Flabellifera | The Old, Old Story | At the Garden Shrine Pompeii | Summer Flowers | Noonday Rest |
Related Artists:John William Hill
English Painter, 1812-1879,Painter and illustrator, son of John Hill. At the age of seven he moved to Philadelphia, PA, with his family. In 1822 he moved to New York, where he was apprenticed to his father for seven years. During this time, he worked on the aquatint plates for William Guy Wall's Hudson River Portfolio (1821-5), which influenced his early paintings.Machuca, Pedro
Spanish, approx. 1490-1550
Spanish painter and architect. The form of his signature (Petrus Machuca, Hispanus. Toletanus ...) on his earliest known work, the Virgin of Succour (1517; Madrid, Prado), suggests he was active at an early age in Italy. On the basis of the style of that work, a number of frescoes in the Vatican have been attributed to him, including Isaiah Blessing Jacob. Other works from the same period that have been attributed to him include a copy (Paris, Louvre) of the destroyed Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo da Vinci and two paintings of the Virgin and Child Carl Haag
1820 - 1915
German painter, active in Britain. After studying in Nuremberg, he painted miniature portraits in Munich and Brussels. In 1847 he went to London to study English techniques of watercolour painting and evolved a method that he claimed achieved the 'brilliancy of oil painting, combined with the tender-sweetness of water-colours' . From 1850 he exhibited at the Society of Painters in Water-Colours and was elected a full member in 1853.