A Souvenir 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
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Godward is regarded as a High Victorian Dreamer because of the beautiful images that he produced trying to see the world in his own perspective: idealism and romanticism.

He was obsessed with ancient Rome civilization so much that most of his paintings portrayed idle women in beautiful settings made of marble and other precious stones that portrayed wealth. Majority of Godward's paintings feature young beautiful women posing against marble structures in classical settings. Some of his famous paintings containing nude and seminude women reside in the Lady Lever Art Gallery together Alma-Tadema's works. Because a souvenir is a thing kept about as a reminder of a person, some of his notable artworks include; Noon Day Rest (1910), Nerrissa (1906), Summer flowers painted in 1903, the Quiet Pet painted in 1904, When the heart is Young painted in 1902 and a Cool Retreat painted in 1910. Most of his works had many versions depending on the number of times it was commissioned. An example is Dolce far Niente(1904) which has a lesser known version which was painted in 1897.

John William Godward is an English painter who lived at the end of the 19th century during the Neo-Classist Era. He was born in 1861 and lived in Wilton Grove, Wimbledon. John began his painting career in 1887 when exhibited his artworks at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. His family was against his new found passion for painting and reportedly cut his image from family pictures when he moved to Italy. He returned to England in 1919 and died in 1922 by committing suicide. His paintings are inspired by the classical civilization which is a period of rich cultural history of ancient Greece and ancient Rome. In fact, most of his artworks are influenced by ancient Rome civilization.

Being a Neo-Classist, he followed the artworks of Fredrick Leighton who was an English painter and sculptor. Fredrick Leighton’s works included biblical and historical subject matter. He became an apprentice of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema because of their similarity in style of painting: they both loved classical architecture. Sir Lawrence was a Dutch painter who later settled in England. Godward used to create his paintings using oil and canvas. Sometimes he would use animal skins too. One of his famous paintings is Dolce far Niente (1904) which portrays a beautiful young lady in the classical setting of ancient Rome. It was purchased in 1995 by Andrew Lloyd Webber who is an English Composer of musical theatre.