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 :. | Campaspe | Summer Flowers | Study of Campaspe | Priestess | A Priestess |
Related Artists:Wilhem Drost
painted Portrait of a man in 1653 or 1655HEEM, Jan Davidsz. de
Dutch painter (b. 1606, Utrecht, d. 1684, Antwerpen).
Dutch painter of fruit and flower pieces. He studied with his father, David de Heem, and became one of Holland's foremost still-life painters. His paintings are found in many leading European museums; the Metropolitan Museum possesses three examples. His son and pupil, Cornelis de Heem, c.1631 C 1695, Joseph wright of derby
English painter. He painted portraits, landscapes and subjects from literature, but his most original and enduringly celebrated works are a few which reflect the philosophical and technological preoccupations of the later 18th century and are characterized by striking effects of artificial light. He was the first major English painter to work outside the capital all his life: apart from spells in Liverpool (1768-71), Italy (1773-5) and Bath (1775-7), he lived and worked in his native Derby, though exhibiting in London at both the Society of Artists (1765-76, 1791) and the Royal Academy (1778-82, 1789-90, 1794).