• Victorian and British Impressi auction at Christies

    Sale 5881

    Victorian and British Impressionist Pictures including Drawings and Watercolours

    18 November 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 79

    John William Godward, R.B.A. (1858-1922)


    Price Realised  


    John William Godward, R.B.A. (1858-1922)
    oil on panel
    4½ x 15½ in. (10.8 x 39.3 cm.)
    Painted circa 1912.

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    Pre-Lot Text

    Primarily known for his neo-classical depictions of idealised maidens, the present lots offer a rare and highly intimate view of John William Godward's art. Passed down through the family, and presented to the market for the first time, each lot offers a new insight into the artist's oeuvre. The studies, so competently executed, with such joie de vivre, on occasion appear to reference larger works (lot 79, the poppies in Tranquility, 1914; lots 82-84 mirror the seascapes in the background of so many his paintings). However, one cannot help but feel that all the lots impart so much more than mere reference: a spontaneity and directness unseen in works more typical to the market. The immediacy of the Capri seascapes, probably painted en plein air, compliment the direct simplicity of lots 80, 81 & 87, Peaches and Grapes & Figs, while lots 85 and 86 - although more typical of Godward's genre - due to their size provide an intimacy absent in larger examples. Lots 88-90 present the viewer with a much less familiar Godward: the young artist at the start of his career, experimenting with subject matters, searching for and refining his as yet undiscovered style and genre.


    Sarah Evorall Godward (the artist's mother), Wimbledon, until 1935.
    Inherited by her daughter/the artist's sister, Mary Frederica Godward Scott, until 1957. (See Lot 89) Inherited by her daughter Winifred Scott Burne, Wolverhampton until 1963.
    Inherited by her daughter Felicity Mary Burne Turner.
    Inherited by her husband, Dr. Gilbert Milo Turner, Birmingham.
    By descent to the present owner.


    Vern Swanson, Phd., John William Godward: The Eclipse of Classicism, The Antique Collectors Club, Suffolk, 1997, p. 97, pl. 47.