John William Godward

English, Neo-Classicist, 1861-1922

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Nerissa
John William Godward
277 USD



In the Days of Sappho
John William Godward
305 USD

A Fair Reflection
John William Godward
255 USD

Dolce far Niente (1904)
John William Godward
290 USD
 
The Quiet Pet
John William Godward
291 USD
 
When the Heart is Young
John William Godward
295 USD
 
Idleness
John William Godward
303 USD
 
Mischief and Repose
John William Godward
289 USD
 
Dolce Far Niente (1897)
John William Godward
325 USD
 
Dolce Far Niente (1906)
John William Godward
293 USD
 
Flabellifera
John William Godward
264 USD
 
The Old, Old Story
John William Godward
328 USD
 
Violets, Sweet Violets
John William Godward
275 USD
 
Sweet Dreams
John William Godward
303 USD
 
In Realms of Fancy
John William Godward
275 USD
 
The Time of Roses
John William Godward
275 USD
 
Under the Blossom that Hangs on the Bough
John William Godward
299 USD
 
A Tryst
John William Godward
285 USD
 
Reverie
John William Godward
250 USD
 
A Souvenir
John William Godward
259 USD

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John William Godward (9 August 1861 – 13 December 1922) was an English painter from the end of the Neo-Classicist era. He was a protégé of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, but his style of painting fell out of favour with the arrival of painters such as Picasso. He committed suicide at the age of 61 and is said to have written in his suicide note that "the world is not big enough for myself and a Picasso".

His already estranged family, who had disapproved of his becoming an artist, were ashamed of his suicide and burned his papers. No photographs of Godward are known to survive. 

Works

Godward was a Victorian Neo-classicist, and therefore, a follower in theory of Frederic Leighton. He is more closely allied stylistically, however, 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, although 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), although 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 artifacts he 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 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. 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'.

Godward "quickly established a reputation for his paintings of young women in a classical setting and his ability to convey with sensitivity and technical mastery the feel of contrasting textures, flesh, marble, fur and fabrics."Godward's penchant for creating works of art set in the classical period probably came from the time period in which he was born. "The last full-scale classical revival in western painting bloomed in England in the 1860s and flowered there for the next three decades."

Source: Wikipedia