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 :. | Le Billet Doux (The Love Letter) | A Quiet Pet detail | Summer Flowers | The Old Old Story | The Ring |
Related Artists:George Knapton
George Knapton (1698-1778) was an English portrait painter and the first portraitist for the Society of Dilettanti in the 1740s. He became Surveyor and Keeper of the King's Pictures from 1765-1778.
Knapton was born in London, the son of James Knapton, a Bookseller of Ludgate street. He studied art under Jonathan Richardson, then at the St. Martin's Lane Academy. He spent some years in Italy where he became known as a sound judge of the works of the "Old Masters". An account of his vist to Herculaneum was published in the "Philosophical Transactions" of 1740 (no. 458).
Knapton was an original member of the "Society of Dilettanti" and their first portrait artist. He painted many members of the society - mostly in fancy dress - including the Duke of Dorset, Viscount Galway, Sir Francis Dashwood, the Earl of Holdernesse, Earl of Bessborough and Sir Bourchier Wray. Knapton resigned his position at the society in 1763.
In 1750, the then Prince of Wales commissioned Knapton, together with George Vertue, to produce a catalogue of the pictures at Kensington Palace, Hampton Court and Windsor castle. In 1765, he succeeded Stephen Slaughter as Surveyor and Keeper of the King's Pictures; he was also in charge of Lord Spencer's collection at Althorp, Northamptonshire.
The Family of Frederick, Prince of Wales (1751)Knapton's largest painting was that of the widowed Princess of Wales and her family (1751). He also painted portraits of the Earl of Upper Ossory (with his brother and sister), the Earl of Burlington, Admiral Sir John Norris, Francis, Fifth Duke of Leeds, Admiral George Vandeput, Archibald Bower, Nicolas Tindal, Hildebrand Jacob, Admiral Edward Hawke, and the singers Carestini and Lisabetta du Parc.
Kanpton assisted his brothers, John and Paul - who had succeeded to and extended their father's business - in the production of several publications including works by Thomas Birch and "The History of England" by Nicolas Tindal and Paul de Rapin.
Knapton died in Kensington in December 1778 and was buried there on the 28th of that same month.Henri Lucien Doucet
was a French figure and portrait painter, born in Paris, where he studied under Lefebvre and Boulanger, and in 1880 won the Prix de Rome. His pictures are usually piquant, sparkling representations of modern life, eminently Parisian in style, but the audacious realism of his earlier work is not maintained in his later, which is somewhat characterless. His portraits in pastel are also notable. His most widely known picture is Apres le bal (After the ball, 1889). Other excellent examples are the portraits of Madame Galli-Marie as Carmen (1884, Marseille Museum); the Princesse Mathilde and My Parents (1890, Lyons Museum); A Spanish Woman (Pontoise Museum); and a Nude Figure (1890). He was awarded a first-class medal for pastel in 1889 and the decoration of the Legion of Honor in 1891.AMMANATI, Bartolomeo
Italian Mannerist Sculptor, 1511-1592
Italian sculptor and architect. He was a major figure in Italian art in the second and third quarters of the 16th century. His extensive travels in north and central Italy gave him an unequalled understanding of developments in architecture and sculpture in the era of Mannerism. His style was based inevitably on the example of Michelangelo but was modified by the suaver work of Jacopo Sansovino. In both sculpture and architecture Ammanati was a highly competent craftsman, and his masterpieces, the tombs of Marco Mantova Benavides and two members of the del Monte family, the Fountains of Juno and Neptune and the courtyard of the Palazzo Pitti, are among the finest works of the period.