A Fair Reflection John William Godward Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

A Fair Reflection is a painting by John William Godward that continues his common theme of female innocence and beauty set within a classical setting.

One immediately notices the strong use of marble throughout the scene, with some elements of wood used to complete the lady's dressing table. Her elegant clothing again reminds us of his and Lawrence Alma Tadema's in-depth research into classical fashion. "Victorians in Togas" was a derogatory term used to describe their work because of this, but they would never be discouraged from following a style that they were so passionate about.

John William Godward felt that detail had been lost from artistic movements over recent centuries and was determined to reverse this trend. He would go to extreme lengths to ensure the accuracy of all of the items that you find in paintings such as A Fair Reflection. During his own lifetime people were far better acquainted with ancient times than they are now, and so any divergences from a correct depiction was likely to be spotted.

This famous painting was selected as the frontpage artwork for the publication titled J.W. Godward 1861-1922 - The Eclipse of Classicism. This book by Vern Grosvenor Swanson PhD is the finest piece of literature ever written about the artist and has recently been re-published with a brand new format. It is truly a fitting representation of the work of this talented and devoted British Victorian artist.