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 :. | Chloris A Summer Rose | The Peacock Fan | A Pompeian Lady | Nerissa | Dolce Far Niente |
Related Artists:George Henry Hall
American painter. Brought up in Boston, he began his career as an artist at the age of 16. In 1849 he travelled with his friend Eastman Johnson to D?sseldorf. Hall studied at the K?nigliche Akademie for about a year, and after a further two years of study in Paris and Rome he returned in 1852 to New York where he settled. However, he remained an enthusiastic traveller and spent a total of more than 20 years abroad.Eugenio Landesio
painted La hacienda de Colon in 1857 - 1858
Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich
German Painter, 1712-1774,German painter and etcher. He received his first training from his father, Johann Georg Dietrich (1684-1752), a court painter at Weimar, and was sent to Dresden at the age of 13 to study under the landscape painter Johann Alexander Thiele (1685-1752). In 1728 they travelled to Arnstadt to paint landscapes for stage sets. In 1730 Thiele presented his pupil to Frederick-Augustus I, Elector of Saxony, as a prodigy; Frederick-Augustus appointed him court painter and entrusted him to his minister Heinrich, Graf von Brehl, for whom he worked on some decorative paintings. From 1732 he used the name 'Dietricy' to sign his paintings. He travelled in Germany from 1734 and may have visited the Netherlands, the source of his artistic inspiration. He returned from his travels in 1741 and was appointed court painter to Frederick-Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, who sent him to Italy in 1743 to study. He visited Venice and Rome but returned to Dresden in 1744.