John William Godward Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions

8-9-1861 Wimbledon, ENG – 12-13-1922 London, ENG

Godward, John William

John William Godward had overbearing and oppressive parents that made him reclusive and shy throughout adulthood. How he ever ended up painting only women, is a mystery.

The vast majority of John William Godward's surviving images highlight ladies in Classical dress, posed against imaginary Roman backdrops, though there are some semi-nude and nude figures included in his works, a notable example being In The Tepidarium, painted in 1913, a title shared with the controversial Lawrence Alma-Tadema paintings In The Tepidarium of the same subject, painted in 1881.

Given that Classical knowledge was more widespread among the audience for his paintings during his lifetime than in the present day, fastidious detail research was essential to meet a standing as an artist in this type of genre. Godward, studied such details as architecture and dress, to ensure that his works bore the stamp of authenticity.

The presence of beautiful women in studied poses in so many of John William Godward's canvases causes many newcomers to his works to categorize him as being a Pre-Raphaelite, particularly as his palette is often a colorful one, the choice of the subject matter of ancient civilization versus, Arthurian legend is more that of the Victorian Neoclassical.

When he moved to Italy with one of his models in 1912 at the age of 51, his family severed all contact with him and cut his image from family albums. John William Godward committed suicide at the age of 61 and said in his suicide note that "the world is not big enough for me and a Picasso". His painting subject matter fell out of favor with the incoming wave of modern art. His already estranged family, who had objected to him becoming an artist, and had already cut his image from family pictures, were ashamed and embarrassed by his suicide and now burned all his papers, as if he never existed for them. No photographs of Godward are known to survive. One of John William Godward best-known oil paintings is Dolce Far Niente, bought by Andrew Lloyd Webber for US$1.565 Million, another of his paintings When the Heart is Young sold for US$1.445 Million, sure to make his parents turn in their graves.

Art Movement: Victorian Classicism.
Artists Influencing John William Godward: Lawrence Alma-Tadema.
He Traveled To Italy.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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John William Godward Museum Art Replicas on Canvas.

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