Waiting for an Answer 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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Waiting for an Answer is an intriguing work from John William Godward that possibly even features a rare self-portrait of the artist himself as part of the composition.

Having had all but one photograph of this artist destroyed in the aftermath of his death, any artworks containing his image would be a wonderful bonus. We seem to have exactly that here in this painting titled Waiting for an Answer.

The approach of a self-portrait within an overall, more complex, composition was nothing new. Most famously, of course, was the Las Meninas painting by Diego Velazquez which placed the artist at the back of the scene. Many other artists have done similar, with varying levels of success. In this Godward painting the man on the right hand side is believed to be the artist himself and he takes a prominent role, interacting with the only other figure in the piece.

Besides this potential self-portrait, everything else in this scene is highly typical of the artist, with animal skins, a huge use of marbled architecture and also the classically dressed slim model. In the very background we also have the artist's signature bright blue skies with barely a cloud visible.