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John William Godward

Paintings

John William Godward Painting - When The Heart Is Young by John William Godward

When The Heart Is Young

John William Godward Painting - Sweet Doing Nothing. Dolce Far Niente by John William Godward

Sweet Doing Nothing. Dolce Far Niente

John William Godward Painting - Sweet Doing Nothing. Dolce Far Niente by John William Godward

Sweet Doing Nothing. Dolce Far Niente

John William Godward Painting - In The Tepidarium by John William Godward

In The Tepidarium

John William Godward Painting - Clymene by John William Godward

Clymene

John William Godward Painting - Eighty And Eighteen by John William Godward

Eighty And Eighteen

John William Godward Painting - The Quiet Pet by John William Godward

The Quiet Pet

John William Godward Painting - The Trysting Place by John William Godward

The Trysting Place

John William Godward Painting - At The Gate Of The Temple by John William Godward

At The Gate Of The Temple

John William Godward Painting - In The Days Of Sappho by John William Godward

In The Days Of Sappho

John William Godward Painting - Mischief And Repose by John William Godward

Mischief And Repose

John William Godward Painting - Nude On The Beach by John William Godward

Nude On The Beach

John William Godward Painting - Atalanta by John William Godward

Atalanta

John William Godward Painting - A Fair Reflection by John William Godward

A Fair Reflection

John William Godward Painting - The Day Dream by John William Godward

The Day Dream

John William Godward Painting - Eighty And Eighteen by John William Godward

Eighty And Eighteen

John William Godward Painting - Lycinna by John William Godward

Lycinna

John William Godward Painting - Megilla by John William Godward

Megilla

John William Godward Painting - A Pompeian Lady by John William Godward

A Pompeian Lady

John William Godward Painting - Idleness by John William Godward

Idleness

John William Godward Painting - A Priestess Of Bacchus by John William Godward

A Priestess Of Bacchus

John William Godward Painting - Playtime by John William Godward

Playtime

John William Godward Painting - Outside The Gate Of Pompeii by John William Godward

Outside The Gate Of Pompeii

John William Godward Painting - Playtime by John William Godward

Playtime

John William Godward Painting - Ismenia by John William Godward

Ismenia

John William Godward Painting - In The Grove Of The Temple Of Isis by John William Godward

In The Grove Of The Temple Of Isis

John William Godward Painting - On The Balcony by John William Godward

On The Balcony

John William Godward Painting - Preparing For The Bath by John William Godward

Preparing For The Bath

John William Godward Painting - Myrhinna by John William Godward

Myrhinna

John William Godward Painting - Repose. The Flower Girl by John William Godward

Repose. The Flower Girl

John William Godward Painting - Eurypyle by John William Godward

Eurypyle

John William Godward Painting - Violets Sweet Violets by John William Godward

Violets Sweet Violets

John William Godward Painting - The Time Of Roses by John William Godward

The Time Of Roses

John William Godward Painting - Ione by John William Godward

Ione

John William Godward Painting - Ione by John William Godward

Ione

John William Godward Painting - Soft Falls The Eventide by John William Godward

Soft Falls The Eventide

John William Godward Painting - Waiting For The Procession by John William Godward

Waiting For The Procession

John William Godward Painting - A Cool Retreat by John William Godward

A Cool Retreat

John William Godward Painting - Carina by John William Godward

Carina

 Painting - Androclea by John William Godward

Androclea

 Drawing - Looking Out To Sea by John William Godward

Looking Out To Sea

 Painting - The Tambourine Girl by John William Godward

The Tambourine Girl

 Painting - The Bouquet by John William Godward

The Bouquet

 Painting - Girl In Yellow Drapery by John William Godward

Girl In Yellow Drapery

John William Godward

At the Garden Shrine, Pompeii

John William Godward

A Classical Beauty

John William Godward

A Classical Beauty

John William Godward

A Classical Lady

John William Godward

A Grecian Girl

John William Godward

A Grecian Lovely

John William Godward

A Greek Beauty

John William Godward

A Pompeian Lady

John William Godward

A Priestess

John William Godward

A Priestess

John William Godward

A Roman Matron

John William Godward

A Souvenir

John William Godward

A Tryst

John William Godward

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

John William Godward

An Offering to Venus

John William Godward

Ancient Pastimes

John William Godward

At the Garden Door

John William Godward

At the Thermae

John William Godward

Athenais

John William Godward

By the Blue Ionian Sea

John William Godward

Campaspe

John William Godward

Contemplation

John William Godward

Drusilla

John William Godward

Endymion

John William Godward

Flabellifera

John William Godward

Girl in Yellow Drapery

John William Godward

Grecian Reverie

John William Godward

His Birthday Gift

John William Godward

Ianthe

John William Godward

Idle Thoughts

John William Godward

Idleness

John William Godward

In Realms of Fancy

John William Godward

In the Days of Sappho

John William Godward

Innocent Amusements

John William Godward

Ionian Dancing Girl

John William Godward

La Pensierosa

John William Godward

Leaning on the Balcony

John William Godward

Lesbia with her Sparrow

John William Godward

Nerissa

John William Godward

Phyleis

John William Godward

Reverie

John William Godward

Rich Gifts Wax Poor When Lovers Prove Unkind

John William Godward

Sappho

John William Godward

Summer Flowers

John William Godward

Sweet Dreams

John William Godward

The Belvedere

John William Godward

The Delphic Oracle

John William Godward

The Engagement Ring

John William Godward

The Flowers of Venus

John William Godward

The Fruit Vendor

John William Godward

The Jewel Casket

John William Godward

The Love Letter

John William Godward

The Mirror

John William Godward

The New Perfume

John William Godward

The Old, Old Story

John William Godward

The Old, Old Story

John William Godward

The Peacock Fan

John William Godward

The Ring

John William Godward

The Sweet Siesta of a Summer Day

John William Godward

The Tambourine Girl

John William Godward

The Time of Roses

John William Godward

Tranquillity

John William Godward
Tympanistria

John William Godward
Under the Blossom that Hangs on the Bough

John William Godward

Venus at the Bath

John William Godward
Venus Binding Her Hair

John William Godward
Waiting for an Answer

John William Godward
With Violets Wreathed and Robe of Saffron Hue

John William Godward
Yes or No

John William Godward
Youth and Time


John William Godward (9 August 1861 – 13 December 1922) was an English painter from the end of the Pre-Raphaelite/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 like Picasso. He committed suicide at the age of 61 and is said to have written in his suicide note that "the world was not big enough" for him 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.

Early life

Godward was born in 1861 and lived in Wilton Grove, Wimbledon. He was born to John Godward (an investment clerk at the Law Life Assurance Society, London) and Sarah Eboral.[1](pp17–19) He was the eldest of five children. He was named after his father John and grandfather William. He was christened at St. Mary's Church in Battersea on 17 October 27 1861. The overbearing attitude of his parents made him reclusive and shy later in adulthood.[1](p22)


Career

He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1887. When he moved to Italy with one of his models in 1912, his family broke off all contact with him and even cut his image from family pictures. Godward returned to England in 1919, died in 1922 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, west London.

One of his best known paintings is Dolce far Niente (1904), which currently resides in the collection of Andrew Lloyd Webber. As in the case of several other paintings, Godward painted more than one version, in this case an earlier (and less well known) 1897 version.


Works
"Venus Binding Her Hair", 1913

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 artifacts 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'.

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."[2] 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."[3]

List of works by the artist

c.1880-1881

Portrait of Mary Perkington Godward

c. 1882-1883

Portrait of Mary Frederica Godward

c.1883

Country House in the 18th Century

c.1887

Expectation
Poppaea
Portrait of Harriet (Hetty) Pettigrew in Classical Dress
Portrait of Lillian (Lilly) Pettigrew in Classical Dress
A Yellow Turban

c. 1887-1888

Japonica
A Roman Head

1888

A Beauty in Profile
An Eastern Beauty
The Engagement Ring
Flo
Ianthe
Lily
Threissa
The Tiff
Waiting for the Dance

1889

Callirhoe
Grecian Reverie
A Greek Girl
Head of a Roman Woman[4]
Ianthe
His Birthday Gift
Waiting For An Answer

1890

A Pompeian Bath
Athenais
Flowers Of Venus

1891

A Pompeian Lady
Innocent Amusement
The Sweet Siesta of a Summer Day

1892

At The Garden Shrine, Pompeii
Classical Beauty
Far Away Thoughts (landscape format)
Far Away Thoughts (portrait format)
Leaning On The Balcony
The Betrothed
The Playground
With Violets Wreathed And Robe Of Saffron Hue

1893

A Priestess (nude)
Reflections
Yes Or No

1894

A Priestess

1895

Mischief And Repose
The Muse Erato At Her Lyre
Tigerskin (date uncertain)

1896

Campaspe (nude)
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

1897

Dolce Far Niente (first version)
Venus Binding Her Hair, by 1897 (nude)

1898

At The Gate Of The Temple
Idle thoughts
On The Balcony (first version)
The Ring

1899

The Bouquet
The Delphic Oracle
The Mirror
The Signal

1900

Idleness
The Jewel Casket
The Toilet

1901

At The Garden Door
Chloris
Girl In Yellow Drapery
Idle Hours
Sweet Dreams
The Favourite
The Seamstress
Venus At The Bath (nude)
Youth And Time


Drusilla, 1906

1902

An Italian Girl's Head
Ionian Dancing Girl

1903

Amaryllis
Summer Flowers
The Old, Old Story
The Rendezvous

1904

A Melody
Dolce Far Niente (second version)
In The Days Of Sappho

1905

A Greek Beauty
A Roman Matron
Flabellifera
Mischief

1906

Drusilla
Nerissa
The Tambourine Girl (first version - girl facing the viewer)
The Tambourine Girl (second version - girl reclining against wall)

1907

The Love Letter

1908

A Classical Lady
A Grecian Girl
Ismenia

1909

A Classical Beauty
A Grecian Lovely (date uncertain)
At The Thermae (semi nude)
Tympanistria

1910

A Cool Retreat
Noon Day Rest
Reverie (first version)
Sappho

1911

In Realms Of Fancy
On The Balcony (second version)

1912

A Tryst
Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
An Offering To Venus
By The Wayside
Reverie (second version)
Sabinella
The Peacock Fan

1913

Golden Hours
In The Tepidarium (nude)
La Pensierosa
Le Billet Doux
The Belvedere

1914

The Necklace
The New Perfume
Tranquility

1915

In The Prime Of The Summer Time

1916

Ancient Pastimes
By The Blue Ionian Sea
Lesbia With Her Sparrow

1917

A Lily Pond
The Fruit Vendor
Under The Blossom That Hangs On The Bough

1918

A Fond farewell
Sweet Sounds

1920

A Red, Red Rose

1921

Megilla

1922

Contemplation
Nu Sur La Plage (an exception to all other works, this is a 'modern' nude)

Date unknown

Grape Vines
Ophelia
Time To Play

This list is not a complete list, but serves to illustrate the extent of Godward's output.

References

Swanson, Vern (1997). John William Godward: The Eclipse of Classicism. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club. ISBN 978-1-85149-270-1.
Swanson, Vern (1997). John William Godward: The Eclipse of Classicism. Woodbridge, Suffolk, U.K.: Antique Collector's Club. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-85149-270-1.
Gaines, Charles (1985). "Art: Those Victorian Ladies". Architectural Digest 42: 125.
Swanson, Vern (1997). John William Godward: The Eclipse of Classicism. Woodbridge, Suffolk, U.K.: Antique Collector's Club. pp. 172–176. ISBN 978-1-85149-270-1.

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