- John William Godward
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John William Godward

John William Godward was born in 1861 to a wealthy family that thoroughly disapproved of his becoming an artist. In spite of their objections, he became a painter and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1887.

Godward was a great admirer of Alma-Tadema, and indeed you can see his influence in the lovely marble and textiles. Godward was also greatly influenced by Lord Frederic Leighton, as evidenced by the glossy finish of the canvas. Godward's subjects were mainly beautiful girls, set in classical type settings.

In 1912 Godward left England for Italy with his dark haired model (seen in Dolce Far Niente and Noonday Rest). His outraged parents and family severed contact with him, even cutting his figure from the family portraits.

Godward returned to England in 1919. By this time though, his work was no longer held in esteem by either the critics or the public. He committed suicide in 1922, leaving a note saying that the world was not big enough for him and a Picasso.

contributed by Gifford, Katya


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