Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 9

John William Godward
A Pompeian Lady

Dated 1904

Price Upon Request

About

One of the last and greatest Victorian neoclassical painters, John William Godward is celebrated for his flawlessly executed images of graceful women posed in idealized ancient settings. In this work, entitled A Pompeian Lady, a classical beauty is caught idling in a moment of quiet, solitary reflection. Godward's elegant subjects are depicted with a degree of technical mastery that remains unsurpassed, and the work's dramatic palette, luxurious fabrics and classical vision are all characteristics of his unique take on the neoclassical style. Godward was unmatched in terms of his technical skill and attention to detail. A master of contrasting textures, he paints a diaphanous gown draping against the model’s smooth, milky white skin, which sits against the painstakingly rendered individual hairs of a tiger’s pel. Scintillating color permeates the canvas as well, energizing the otherwise static scene. Each element is given careful attention, and the overall effect is one of both immaculate technique and sensual tactility. Along with his contemporary and mentor, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Godward set the tone for the Victorian neoclassicist movement. He built his career upon creating images of idealized feminine beauty infused with a Greco-Roman-inspired style. Though greatly influenced by Alma-Tadema, Godward distinguished himself through his predilection for the solitary female figure. His fame rose dramatically in the first few years of the 20th century, when the present work was completed, due to the burgeoning strength of the British Empire and the Victorian society’s preoccupation with ancient Rome. To many of the newly affluent, Roman society was, as Iain Gale writes, “a flawless mirror of their own immaculate world.” The sensuality and mystery of Godward’s maidens, combined with his impressive antique backdrops, was a direct reflection of this pervasive view. Godward debuted at London’s Royal Academy exhibition in 1887 at the age of only 26. Having fallen under the influence of British Neoclassical Revivalists Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Lord Frederic Leighton and Sir Edward John Poynter, Godward quickly adopted, if not rivaled, their style. He envisioned similar scenes of the ancient world, seamlessly blending antiquity and beauty in breathtaking compositions and attracting fans across Europe. In 1889, he was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists, and, ten years later, Godward debuted at the Paris Salon, where again he was heaped with critical praise. However, the 20th century brought rapid artistic change, and he was faced with the painful reality that the classical world he loved was being overshadowed by modern art movements. His devotion to the classics never waned, and he moved to Rome in 1912 to surround himself with the physical remnants of the classical world, where he stayed for the major part of his remaining career. Dated 1904 Canvas: 25“ diameter Frame: 45 3/4” high x 44 3/8” wide Literature: J.W. Godward: The Eclipse of Classicism, 2018, Vern Swanson, page 290, no.12 and illustrated Exhibitions: Thomas McLean Gallery, London, 1904 Provenance: Thomas McLean, art dealer, London, 1904 Purchased by Sir Alfred Bird, Tudor Grange Solihull Cooling Galleries, London and Toronto, Canada The collection of Maurice and Louella Brown, Toronto and Calgary, Canada By descent to Keith C. Brown and L. Joan Brown, Calgary, Alberta, 1882 Hodgin’s Art Auctions, Calgary Fred and Sherry Ross, New Vernon, New Jersey Sotheby’s, New York Private collection, New Orleans M.S. Rau, New Orleans

Details

  • Creator
    John William Godward (1861-1922, British)
  • Creation Year
    Dated 1904
  • Dimensions
    Height: 45.75 in. (116.21 cm)Width: 44.38 in. (112.73 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 31-37391stDibs: LU1868534462

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: New Orleans, LA
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New Orleans, LA
Vetted Seller
These experienced sellers undergo a comprehensive evaluation by our team of in-house experts.
Established in 1912
1stDibs seller since 2013
9 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

Blond Girl with Basket of Flowers "Rosemary's Playmate"
By Francis Luis Mora
Located in Miami, FL
This is an almost lifesize portrait of a charming blond holding a basket of freshly picked flowers. The girl set against a verdant landscape with blue sky and cumulus clouds. The su...
Category

1910s Academic Figurative Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Portrait of my Young Daughter
Located in Paris, FR
Beautiful oil on canvas from the end of the 19th century figuring the portrait of a young woman. The painting is signed Y Pol on the bottom left . The artist in his performance perfe...
Category

19th Century Academic Portrait Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Portrait of my Young Daughter
Located in Paris, FR
Beautiful oil on canvas from the end of the 19th century figuring the portrait of a young woman. The painting is signed Y Pol on the bottom left . The artist in his performance perfe...
Category

19th Century Academic Portrait Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Young child 19th century baby portrait by French portraitist of Brazilian royals
Located in Norwich, GB
A must for anyone with an interest in 19th century portraiture: a wonderful depiction of a young child with deep blue eyes by the highly acclaimed international society portraitist E...
Category

1870s Academic Portrait Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Men & Motorcycles, Mark Beard: Academic Figurative Painting of Four Male Models
By Mark Beard
Located in Hudson, NY
Academic style figurative painting of four male motorcycle riders by Mark Beard aka "Bruce Sargeant" "Men and Motorcycles", painted in the early 2000's for Abercrombie and Fitch's fl...
Category

Early 2000s Academic Figurative Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Boy in Suit: Academic Figurative Painting by Mark Beard aka. Bruce Sargeant
By Mark Beard
Located in Hudson, NY
Academic style figurative painting of two men in trousers and suits with naval flags by Mark Beard aka "Bruce Sargeant" "Boy in Suit", painted in the late 90's - early 2000's for Abe...
Category

Early 2000s Academic Figurative Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Wrestler: Figurative Painting of an Athlete by Mark Beard, Bruce Sargeant
By Mark Beard
Located in Hudson, NY
Academic style figurative oil painting on canvas of a young male wrestler in a grey and red singlet against a slate grey background Painted by Mark Beard as Bruce Sargeant (pseudonym...
Category

2010s Academic Figurative Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Gentleman with Wig (Academic Portrait Painting by Mark Beard as Bruce Sargeant)
By Mark Beard
Located in Hudson, NY
Academic style portrait oil painting of a handsome young man in an 18th century powdered wig Painted by Mark Beard as Bruce Sargeant (pseudonym in homage to the fashion photographer,...
Category

2010s Academic Portrait Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery