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 | The Ring | A Classical Beauty In Profile | The engagement ring | In the Tepidarium |
Related Artists:John William Waterhouse
English Pre-Raphaelite Painter, 1849-1917
English painter. His father was a minor English painter working in Rome. Waterhouse entered the Royal Academy Schools in London in 1870. He exhibited at the Society of British Artists from 1872 and at the Royal Academy from 1874. From 1877 to the 1880s he regularly travelled abroad, particularly to Italy. In the early 1870s he had produced a few uncharacteristic Orientalist keepsake paintings, but most of his works in this period are scenes from ancient history or classical genre subjects, similar to the work of Lawrence Alma-Tadema (e.g. Consulting the Oracle, c. 1882; London, Tate). However, Waterhouse consistently painted on a larger scale than Alma-Tadema. His brushwork is bolder, his sunlight casts harsher shadows and his history paintings are more dramatic.robert herrick
The English poet and Anglican parson Robert Herrick (1591-1674) invented a fanciful world compounded of pagan Rome and Christian England, of reality and fantasy, which he ruled as his poetic domain.Giovanni Ghisolfi
Italian Painter ,
He first trained with his uncle, Antonio Volpino. In 1650, together with his friend Antonio Busca, he travelled to Rome, where he studied the great compositions of Pietro da Cortona and for some time frequented the studio of Salvator Rosa. In 1661 he returned to Lombardy and worked at the Certosa di Pavia, decorating a whole chapel with frescoes showing Legends of St Benedict (in situ), and later providing a canvas of St Bruno, which is now in the Certosa library. In the background of this picture Ghisolfi painted a sloping landscape in a style very close to that of Pietro da Cortona. In the following years he evidently established a reputation for landscape paintings with architecture and ancient ruins. In 1664 he was called to Vicenza to execute, in the Palazzo Trissino Baston and the Palazzo Giustiniani Baggio, an extensive series of decorative landscape frescoes (partially destr.; known through photographs). Numerous preparatory drawings for these exist (Haarlem, Teylers Mus.; Windsor Castle, Berks, Royal Col.). In the same period Ghisolfi collaborated with Antonio Busca on a series of decorative frescoes in the gallery of Palazzo Borromeo Arese at Cesano Maderno, near Milan, and later, with Federico Bianchi, in the Villa Litta Modigliani (1680) at Varese. Both these works have been gravely damaged by decay and later repaintings.