John William Godward, “The Bouquet,” 1899, oil on canvas, 29-3/4 x 19-7/8 inches

In this ongoing series for Fine Art Today, we take a longer look at the history and features of a soon-to-be-available artwork of note. This week we feature just one of several outstanding Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite, and British Impressionist paintings available soon via Christie’s London.

Works by the supremely talented Victorian Neo-Classicist painter John William Godward (1861-1922) headline a major sale at Christie’s next week in London. The artist was born in Wilton Grove, Wimbledon, but his family disapproved of his chosen profession, eventually cutting off all contact. A follower of Frederic Leighton, Godward established a reputation for his images featuring women in classical dress — often posed within marble interiors or lush pastoral landscapes.

Godward’s paintings are remarkable for their attention to detail, both historical and aesthetic. Often displaying exotic furs, animals, plant life, and a wide variety of textiles, many of the artist’s works are a tour de force of vibrant color, texture, anatomy, and composition.

Headlining Christie’s July 11 “Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist” sale is the luminous “Bouquet,” circa 1899. Typically for the artist’s oeuvre, the viewer is presented with a beautifully rendered female figure who stands in full view while contemplating a small bouquet of flowers in her hand. Classically clad, the figure draws her right hand to a marble table filled with other blooms. A serene calm is seen on the subject’s face, though she is also blushing. Every fold and detail of the fabrics and textiles is included in the work. Auction estimates for this beautiful painting are between $259,000 and $388,500.

To learn more, visit Christie’s.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.



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