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John William Godward

1861 - 1922

English Victorian Neo-classicist Painter, Associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB)

Artistically and stylistically influenced the following painters and art periods;   Lord Frederic Leighton, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,

Cause of Death - Suicide

John William Godward

The term Pre-Raphaelites refers to High Renaissance artist Raphael. Raphael was one of the greatest painters of the High Renaissance. Some members of the PRB referred to Raphael's work as slosh and criticized his decadent themes and eroticized Biblical subject matter. Dante Rossetti and the other (PRB) artists embraced the artistic spirit of Early Renaissance and Gothic era painters John Ruskin, art critic and major influence on the PRB admonished "We live in an age of base conceit and baser servility—an age whose intellect is chiefly formed by pillage, and occupied in desecration; one day mimicking, the next destroying, the works of all the noble persons who made its intellectual or art life possible to it:—an age without honest confidence enough in itself to carve a cherry-stone with an original fancy, but with insolence enough to abolish the solar system, if it were allowed to meddle with it. In the midst of all this, you have to become lowly and strong; to recognize the powers of others and to fulfill your own."

The idealistic Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood painters wanted to change the world with their art, much like the hippies of the 1960s. They scorned the pretentious conventionality of the Victorian era. They rebelled against the unbridled materialism and rampant hypocrisy that was all around them and  sought a return to spirituality, courtliness, brotherly love and piety. John Ruskin, famous Victorian Art Critic and major influence on the PRB, advised  "For when we are interested in the beauty of a thing, the oftener we can see it the better; but when we are interested only by the story of a thing, we get tired of hearing the same tale told over and over again, and stopping always at the same point — we want a new story presently, a newer and better one — and the picture of the day, and novel of the day, become as ephemeral as the coiffure or the bonnet of the day. Now this spirit is wholly adverse to the existence of any lovely art. If you mean to throw it aside to-morrow, you can never have it to-day."


Pre-Raphaelites Themes
Classical Greek and Roman
Fairies 
mythology
Biblical

femme fatale 
Italian themes 
 historical themes 
 literary themes

Literary influences of the Pre-Raphaelites
Goethe
Edward Bulwer-Lytton
John Keats
Shakespeare
Coventry Patmore
Charles Dickens
Tennyson
Dinah Maria Mulock


Famous Artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Movement

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
John Everett Millais
William Holman Hunt
Edward Robert Hughes
John William Godward
John William Waterhouse 
Lord Frederic Leighton
Edward Burne-Jones
Walter Howell Deverell

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Key Descriptive Words  and Phrases associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood  -  Quattrocento art, mythology, the classical world,  Pre-Raphaelite Journal, Margaret Gatty,  medieval era, mermaids, Florentine art, spiritually significant,, The Germ, idealized biblical themes, Jewish folklore,  19th century, avant-garde movement, Romantic poetry,  Goethe, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, mythology, history painting, 1848, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, John Keats, Shakespeare, Coventry Patmore, Charles Dickens, Tennyson, romanticized landscapes, Christian symbolism, Cyclographic Club, Early Renaissance painting,

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