After the Serenade
Oil on panel
16 x 5 inches
Vern Swanson, JW Godward: The Eclipse of Classicism, 2018, p 24, illustrated p 256
This painting has recently been identified by Dr Vern Swanson as an early Godward of 1886, the very first year that he took up Neo-classicism. Swanson noted in his latest book on the artist (2018 –– this picture is included on p 24) that his few pictures of that year were ‘the first to pull together most of the elements ... all of which are found in this diminutive oil. Here we see the classically dressed maiden, and the flowers and pool of water that are so typically him ... 1886, the first year of concerted artistic production, was the launching pad for his career’. The early influence of Godward’s slightly older friend, the painter William Clarke Wontner (1857–1930), is apparent both in choice of subject and in the smoky palette of browns and yellows.