Our Art / John William Godward

John William Godward

Among the members of the English "Marble School," Godward (1861–1922) was known for his depictions of subjects drawn from ancient Greek and Roman life, with especially careful and realistic painting of details like marble and flowers. During his time, society was well-learned in classical education, so his work featuring elaborate scenes of ancient life required meticulous detail in research. Godward rigorously studied historical sites and collected artifacts, examining architectural details and dress, in order to ensure the authenticity of his work.

By the time he was in his fifties, however, the Marble School's realistic, Classical approach had fallen out of favor with the arrival of painters such as Picasso. Godward nonetheless continued to paint in this manner until his death. He committed suicide at the age of 61 and is said to have written in his suicide note that "the world is not big enough for myself and a Picasso."

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