A gifted, troubled loner throughout his life, John William Godward (English, 1861—1922) slipped the constraints of late Victorian society by creating imaginary worlds of beauty, peace, and light. Unburdened by the need to sell his work or to please critics, from his twenties on Godward cherished and advanced a genre that most of the art world was discarding. His fantasy world combined masterful technique with a sentimentality and idealization that were rapidly falling from fashion.
Although Godward exhibited at the Royal Society beginning in 1887, his parents disapproved of his decision to become an artist. Years of illness and family strife exacted a heavy toll from the artist. Plagued by melancholia, shunned at home (where his image was eventually removed from all photographs but one), and demoralized by the rise and popularity of modern art, the reclusive Godward could no longer find refuge in his canvases.
The two paintings reproduced in this folio are housed in the Manchester Art Gallery.
Contains five each of the following notecards, with a blank interior:
On the Balcony, 1898