Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence
b.Jan. 8, 1836, Dronrijp, Netherlands.
d.June 25, 1912, Wiesbaden, Germany.
Painter and designer of Dutch birth. The son of a notary, Alma-Tadema demonstrated an early artistic ability. In 1852 he entered the Antwerp Academy, where he studied under Gustaf, Baron Wappers, and Nicaise de Keyser. An important influence at this time was Louis De Taye, Professor of Archaeology at the academy and a practising artist. Alma-Tadema lived and worked with De Taye from 1857 to 1859 and was encouraged by him to depict subjects from the early history of France and Belgium. This taste for historical themes increased when Alma-Tadema entered Baron Henri Leys studio in 1859 and began assisting him with his monumental frescoes for the Antwerp Town Hall. While in Leys studio, Alma-Tadema produced several major paintings, for example the Education of the Children of Clovis (1861; ex-Sir John Pender priv. col., see Zimmern, p. 3) and Venantius Fortunatus Reading his Poems to Radagonda (1862; Dordrecht, Dordrechts Mus.), which are characterized by their obscure Merovingian subject-matter, rather sombre colouring and close attention to detail. Related Paintings of Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence :. | Jean-Leon Gerome (mk23) | Spring (mk23) | Faun and Bacchant (mk23) | Edward Poynter (mk23) | Leaving Church in the Fifteenth Century (mk23) |
Related Artists:Henry Arthur Payne
British Architect , 1868-1940Johan Barthold Jongkind
Dutch Impressionist Painter, 1819-1891
was a Dutch painter and printmaker regarded as a forerunner of Impressionism who influenced Claude Monet. Jongkind was born in the town of Lattrop in the Overijssel province of the Netherlands near the border with Germany. Trained at the art academy in The Hague, in 1846 he moved to the Montmartre quarter of Paris, France where he studied under Eugene Isabey and Francois-Edouard Picot. Two years later, the Paris Salon accepted his work for its exhibition, and he received acclaim from critic Charles Baudelaire and later on from Emile Zola. Jongkind was to experience little success, however, and he suffered bouts of depression complicated by alcoholism. Jongkind returned to live in Rotterdam in 1855, and remained there until 1860. Back in Paris, in 1861 he rented a studio on the rue de Chevreuse in Montparnasse where some of his paintings began to show glimpses of the Impressionist style to come. In 1862 he befriended the young Claude Monet who later referred to Jongkind as the "master." The following year Jongkind exhibited at the first Salon des Refus's. Despite several successes, in another of his down periods the Impressionist group did not accept his work for their first exhibition in 1874.John William Godward
Godward was a Victorian Neo-classicist, and therefore a follower in theory of Frederic Leighton. However, he is more closely allied stylistically to Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, with whom he shared a penchant for the rendering of Classical architecture, in particular, static landscape features constructed from marble.
The vast majority of Godward's extant images feature women in Classical dress, posed against these landscape features, though there are some semi-nude and fully nude figures included in his oeuvre (a notable example being In The Tepidarium (1913), a title shared with a controversial Alma-Tadema painting of the same subject that resides in the Lady Lever Art Gallery). The titles reflect Godward's source of inspiration: Classical civilisation, most notably that of Ancient Rome (again a subject binding Godward closely to Alma-Tadema artistically), though Ancient Greece sometimes features, thus providing artistic ties, albeit of a more limited extent, with Leighton.
Given that Classical scholarship was more widespread among the potential audience for his paintings during his lifetime than in the present day, meticulous research of detail was important in order to attain a standing as an artist in this genre. Alma-Tadema was, as well as a painter, an archaeologist who attended historical sites and collected artefacts that were later used in his paintings: Godward, too, studied such details as architecture and dress, in order to ensure that his works bore the stamp of authenticity. In addition, Godward painstakingly and meticulously rendered those other important features in his paintings, animal skins (the paintings Noon Day Rest (1910) and A Cool Retreat (1910) contain superb examples of such rendition) and wild flowers (Nerissa (1906), illustrated above, and Summer Flowers (1903) are again excellent examples of this).
The appearance of beautiful women in studied poses in so many of Godward's canvases causes many newcomers to his works to categorise him mistakenly as being Pre-Raphaelite, particularly as his palette is often a vibrantly colourful one. However, the choice of subject matter (ancient civilisation versus, for example, Arthurian legend) is more properly that of the Victorian Neoclassicist: however, it is appropriate to comment that in common with numerous painters contemporary with him, Godward was a 'High Victorian Dreamer', producing beautiful images of a world which, it must be said, was idealised and romanticised, and which in the case of both Godward and Alma-Tadema came to be criticised as a world-view of 'Victorians in togas'.