John William Godward Paintings
Le Billet Doux [The Love Letter], 1913
Oil on canvas, 31.5 x 15.67 inches [80 x 39.8 cm]
Collection of Edward B. Frankel, M.D
The appearance of beautiful women in studied poses in so many of Godward's paintings - Le Billet Doux [The Love Letter], Dolce far niente [Sweet Nothings] causes many newcomers to his works to categorise him mistakenly as being Pre-Raphaelite, particularly as his palette is often a vibrantly colourful one. However, the choice of subject matter (ancient civilisation versus, for example, Arthurian legend) is more properly that of the victorian Neoclassicist: however, it is appropriate to comment that in common with numerous painters contemporary with him, Godward was a 'High Victorian Dreamer', producing beautiful images of a world which, it must be said, was idealised and romanticised, and which in the case of both Godward and Alma-Tadema came to be criticised as a world-view of 'Victorians in togas'.