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 :. | Erato at Her Lyre | The Jewel Casket | The Mirror | A Classical Beauty | A Priestess |
Related Artists:Martin Johann Schmidt
Austrian Painter, 1718-1801,was one of the most outstanding Austrian painters of the late Baroque/Rococo along with Franz Anton Maulbertsch. A son of the sculptor Johannes Schmidt and a pupil of Gottlieb Starmayr, he spent most of his life at Stein, where he mostly worked in the numerous churches and monasteries of his Lower Austrian homeland. While the evolution of his style after 1750 shows that he had either spent a formative period in northern Italy or had at least had extensive contact with northern Italian works of art prior to that date, his works are also clearly influenced by Rembrandt (visible above all in his etchings) and the great fresco-painters of the Austrian Baroque, Paul Troger and Daniel Gran. Despite not having received formal academic training, in 1768 he was made a member of the imperial academy at Vienna due to his artistic merits, which by that time had already been recognized by a wider public inside and outside of Austria. Primarily he painted devotional images for private devotion and churches, including a considerable number of large altar paintings. His lively and colourful style made him extremely popular with people from all levels of society already during his lifetime. From 1780 mythological and low-life themes became increasingly frequent, only to be replaced by a renewed concentration on religious topics during the very last years of Schmidt's life. He was at that an important draughtsman and has left numerous etchings which clearly show Rembrandt's influence. While his earlier works typically show a warm chiaroscuro, from about 1770 he used increasingly stronger and more lively colours. Simultanueously, both his style and his brush technique became much more free, making him, like Franz Anton Maulbertsch, an important predecessor of impressionism. In this aspect, his mature style is completely contrary to neoclassicism, the style which increasingly dominated European art after about 1780. COSSA, Francesco del
Italian Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1435-1477
Italian painter. Together with Cosimo Tura and Ercole de' Roberti, Cossa was one of the most important painters working in Ferrara and Bologna in the second half of the 15th century. With them he shared an expressive use of line and solidity of form, but he also had a gift for decorative and anecdotal scenes, most evident in the frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrara. John Rogers
American Sculptor, 1829-1904, He was an American sculptor who produced very popular, relatively inexpensive figurines in the latter 19th century. He became famous for his small genre sculptures, popularly termed "Rogers Groups", which were mass produced in cast plaster. A total of 80,000 copies of almost 80 Rogers Groups were sold across the United States and abroad. At the height of their popularity, Rogers' figurines graced the parlors of homes in the United States and were found as far away as Chile and Australia. The English novelist Charles Reade furnished his home with all the Rogers figurines available to him, and in the Dakota Territory, Lt. Col. George Custer and his wife had one.