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 :. | The Bouquet | Ionian Dancing Girl | A Priestess | Erato at Her Lyre | A Souvenir |
Related Artists:Thomas Beach
British Painter, 1738-1806,English painter. He studied with Joshua Reynolds from 1760 until early in 1762, during which time he was also a student at the St Martin's Lane Academy, London. He probably settled in Bath; his recorded portraits of the 1760s are all of sitters from Dorset or Somerset, and he sent two portraits from an address in Bath to the Society of Artists exhibition of 1772. He exhibited with the Society until 1783, becoming its vice-president (1782) and president (1783) he also exhibited at the Royal Academy (1785-90, 1797). He probably divided his mature practice between London and Bath. His early reliance on Reynolds's ideas of propriety gave way to a more direct approach, seen at its best in such group portraits as The Stapleton Family (1789; U. Bath, Holburne of Menstrie Mus.). In this work, the four children are shown in costume, as a fortune-teller and her customers. The theatrical element in Beach's work, reflecting his interest in the stage, is seen most strikingly in Sarah Siddons and John Philip Kemble in 'Macbeth' Act 2, Scene ii (1786; London, Garrick Club). Beach's diary for 1798, the only one to have survived, chronicles what appears to have been an annual tour of the west country; that year he completed 31 portraits between June and December. Beach was able to capture a strong likeness and this, despite a certain naivety and awkwardness in composition, was enough to establish his reputation in moderately fashionable provincial circles. His last recorded work is a Self-portrait johann christian Claussen Dahl
San Sebastiano,Po 1851-1895 Chivasso