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 | Nerissa | Chloris A Summer Rose | The Jewel Casket | Summer Flowers |
Related Artists:Peter Adolf Persson
painted View over the Landscape of Skane in 1889Wouter Johannes van Troostwijk
Wouter Johannes van Troostwijk Gallery
Dutch painter, draughtsman and etcher. In 1803 he was admitted to the Amsterdam Tekenacademie where he was a pupil of the director, Jurriaan Andriessen. Despite a highly successful student career that culminated in a gold medal from the Felix Meritis Society in 1807, he was unable to establish himself as a professional artist during the remainder of his very short working life in Amsterdam. Andriessen's studies from nature seem to have been an important influence; van Troostwijk was one of the earliest artists to paint en plein air. Although he looked back to 17th-century Dutch landscape art and to the work of his contemporaries, in such paintings as Landscape in Gelderland (c. 1808; Amsterdam, Rijksmus.; see NETHERLANDS, THE, fig. 21) he achieved a totally new lyricism in the rendering of atmospheric effects. The Raampoortje (1809; Amsterdam, Rijksmus.) displays a fresh colouristic touch rare in Dutch painting of this period. His Self-portrait (c. 1810; Amsterdam, Rijksmus.) is equally original in composition and colour. He also produced animal paintings in the manner of Paulus Potter, drawings and a few etchings towards the end of his life. Van Troostwijk died before his considerable talents could be recognized, and, although he has come to be seen as an important precursor of much late 19th-century Dutch painting, he had little influence on his immediate successors.Louis Loeb
Landscape, Portrait, Figure-idylls