• Welcome to PaintingMania.com
  • Hello, New customer? Start here.
  • John William Godward
    Aug 9, 1861 - Dec 13, 1922
  • The Sweet Siesta of a Summer Day - Godward excelled in oil and watercolour. His work remained consistent throughout a remarkable career spanning almost forty years, over which time he created a vital stylistic niche for his oeuvre. Godward is best known for his highly finished paintings of pretty girls attired in classical robes, indeed, he became known as the master ‘classical tunic gown’ painter.
Shop by Art Gallery
The Sweet Siesta of a Summer Day
  • Pin It
  • Share on Tumblr
  • The Sweet Siesta of a Summer DayEnlarge
  • The Sweet Siesta of a Summer Day

  • John William Godward
  • Standard size
    We offer original aspect ratio sizes
  • Price
  • Qty
  • 30 X 40 in
  • $469.95
  • 36 X 48 in
  • $636.95
  • 48 X 72 in
  • $1,213.95
  • If listed sizes are not in proportion to the original, don't worry, just choose which size is similar to what you want, we can offer oil paintings in a suitable size, painted in proportion to the original.
  • If you would like the standard size, please let us know. Need a Custom Size?
  • line
  • 1891
    Oil on canvas
    Private Collection.

    The inspiration for The Sweet Siesta of a Summer Day comes from Lord Byron’s poem The Island (1823), specifically canto II, section VI:

    “And sweetly now those untaught melodies
    Broke the luxurious silence of the skies,
    The sweet siesta of a summer day,
    The tropic afternoon of Toobonai,
    When every flower was bloom, and air was balm,
    And the first breath began to stir the palm.”

    One of Byron’s last major works, The Island describes a fictional, paradisiacal place called Toobonai where there is no class system or division of property. Much like the utopia of Byron’s fantasy, the settings of John William Godward’s paintings are far removed from the trials of the modern world. In this sophisticated and complex composition, a classical beauty in a diaphanous cerulean stola lounges gracefully on a marble bench, indifferent to a smoking Mount Vesuvius visible in the distant summer haze. The second figure plays a classical Greek double flute or aulos. The warm, vivid hues of the Pompeiian interior's frescoed walls contrast with the cool marble and the serene azure vista beyond the arbor. It is a scene of idyllic beauty and pensive idleness.

    Sweet Siesta features many of the aesthetic qualities that defined Godward’s oeuvre. Like his contemporary Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (see lot 38), he had a passion for antiquity. Godward rose to fame during the height of the Victorian obsession with the classical world, fueled by recent archaeological discoveries that would influence the fine and decorative arts. Careful study granted Godward an impressive technical execution of each element in his compositions, the present example being one of the more highly detailed compositions by the artist. In what he has imagined as the home of a wealthy Pompeiian family, Godward includes Greek and Roman objects, meticulously and accurately represented, drawn from a personal collection or seen in public collections. To the left is a Roman bronze brazier or food warmer, based on one discovered at Pompeii. Atop the pavonazzetto marble table with lion-griffin supports (inspired by one belonging to the house of Cornelius Rufus in Pompeii), is a ribbed green glass bowl and other Roman glass vessels of common forms. The Roman bronze candelabrum featuring a sphinx motif is also from Pompeii, though the klismos chair beneath it is classical Greek (such chairs were often illustrated on Greek pottery and grave steles, see fig. 1). The bronze portrait head on a marble herm pillar is based on that of Lucius Caecilius lucundus, a wealthy banker from Pompeii, which is now in the National Museum in Naples and appears in numerous other compositions by the artist (fig. 2), as does the opulent tiger skin rug. In this combination of real and imagined elements, Sweet Siesta is both an idyllic fantasy and an homage to the classical past.

    Why settle for a paper print when you can add sophistication to your rooms with a high quality 100% hand-painted oil painting on canvas at wholesale price? Order this beautiful oil painting today! that's a great way to impress friends, neighbors and clients alike.

  • 100% hand-painted oil painting on artist grade canvas. No printing or digital imaging techniques are used.
  • Additional 2 inch blank border around the edge.
  • No middle people, directly ship to the world.
  • In stock items ship immediately, usually ships in 3 to 10 days.
  • You can order any painting in any size as your requests.
  • $12.95 shipping charge for small size (e.g., size <= 20 x 24 in).
  • The cheapest shipping rate from DHL, UPS, USPS, etc.
  • Canvas stretched on wood bars for free.
    - Need special frame for oil painting? Please contact us.
  • Send you a digital copy via email for your approval before shipping.
  • 45-day Satisfaction Guaranteed and 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.
Prev The Signal 1899 The Tambourine Girl Next
Average Rating: stars Currently rated 5.00, based on 1 reviews.
Write a critique
  • stars
  • from United States.
  • Kaizhou,

    We received the paintings. They are beautiful. We will send you images after we have them framed. We look forward to doing business with you again.

    Best wishes,
    Bob Peters

Other paintings by John William Godward:

The Signal 1899
The Signal 1899
A Beauty
A Beauty
A Brunette
A Brunette
John William GodwardJohn William Godward was a painter of classical genre scenes. His works embody the aesthetics of the circle of artists around Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912), often described as the ‘Greco-West Kensington School’, who saw the world of Ancient Greece as a Golden Age of poetic beauties and graceful languor. He excelled in oil and watercolour. His work remained consistent throughout a remarkable career spanning almost forty years, over which time he created a vital stylistic niche for his oeuvre.

Godward is best known for his highly finished paintings of pretty girls attired in classical robes, indeed, he became known as the master ‘classical tunic gown’ painter. The diaphanous fabrics of their Grecian tunics highlight their pearly flesh surrounded by marble statuary and balustrades amidst abundant flowers. He was admired for his archaeologically exact rendering of the surfaces of marble and the flowing movement of classical costume. These girls reminded one critic of ‘true English roses’ as much as Hellenic goddesses; it is this gentle beauty which is Godward’s greatest charm. He first worked in his father’s prosperous insurance firm before training with William Hoff Wonter (1814-1881) to become an architect. He became a friend of Wontner’s son, William Clarke (1857-1930) who was also a painter. Vern Swanson has persuasively argued that Godward probably attended the St John’s Wood Art School at Elm Tree Road and the Clapham School of Art in the early 1880’s.

Godward exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1887 and 1905 and at the Royal Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street, of which he became a member in 1889. Godward’s paintings were also often accepted to the Birmingham Royal Society of Artists’ Autumn Exhibitions. The art dealer Thomas McLean was an important champion of his work which was often included in his annual exhibitions. The prints made of Godward’s work by McLean and later by Eugène Cremetti introduced a wider audience to the artist’s work and guaranteed his popularity. He also exhibited internationally, making his début at the Paris Salon of 1899. In 1913 he was awarded the gold medal at the International Exhibition in Rome. The first years of the twentieth century saw a revival of interest in classicism, as prosperity rose throughout the British Empire. In fact, ‘the early Victorians believed that in ancient Rome they had found a parallel universe – a flawless mirror of their own immaculate world,” (cited in Iain Gale, ‘The Empire Looks Back’, Country Life, 30th May 1996, p.68.) This increased Godward’s popularity and success, with 1910 emerging as one of the best years for him as an artist.

Godward lived with his parents in Wimbledon until he achieved financial and critical success in 1889. He took a house at 34 St Leonard’s Terrace on the corner of Smith Street in Chelsea. He gave up his lease at Bolton Studios and rented a studio just around the corner. He filled his studio with marbles, ancient statues (mostly reproductions) and other antique objects, which he purchased from local shops and East End dealers, attempting to recreate a Graeco-Roman inspirational environment for his work. After a first trip to southern Italy in 1911, Godward moved to Rome where he remained until 1921. He took up residence in the Villa Stohl-Fern on the Monti Parioli near the Villa Borghese. The abundance of floral varieties and statuary in the villa’s elegant gardens appear in his work of this period. However, declining health and depression, meant Godward produced very few paintings in later life. Having returned to London in 1921, he committed suicide and was buried in Old Brompton Cemetery, Fulham.

The work of John William Godward is represented in the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery, Bournemouth and the Manchester City Art Gallery.