JOHN WILLIAM GODWARD (1861-1922, British)


John William Godward  was a Victorian Neo-Classicist who, unfortunately, started painting at the end of the era only to be superseded by artists such as Picasso. A classical scholar, Godward did extensive research into his subject. His paintings are detailed and feature women surrounded by Classical architecture causing him to be called a “Marble School” artist. In addition, women are clothed in classical dress and sometimes fully nude. Often times posed on tiger and leopard skins, the women exude a longingness and melancholy. The softness of fur, silk, marble and skin permeate his works especially the paintings Idleness where a woman plays with a kitten.   Godward romanticized the Classical world, and Victorians very much related to ancient Rome.  His patrons were scholars of the period and the nouveau riche.   Godward took his life at age 61 in 1922. He left a note stating, “The world is not big enough for myself and Picasso.”