John William Godward, R.B.A.
- John William Godward, R.B.A.
- In the Tepidarium
- signed J.W. Godward and dated 1913 (upper right)
- oil on canvas
- 38½ by 19 in.
- 98.5 by 48.5 cm
Rayner MacConnel, London
M. Newman Ltd., London
Bearnes and Waycotts, Torquay, Devon, October 31, 1984, lot 324
Richard Green, London
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."
After winning a gold medal at the Rome Internationale exhibition in 1913, the year that the present work was painted, Godward's creative output was swiftly invigorated. In the Tepidarium, demonstrates all of his iconic strengths: exacting renderings of various marble slabs, drapery studies in translucent hues, and a careful and reverent depiction of a single female model.
Undraped nudes are rare in Godward's oeuvre. In this exceptional example, the delicate flesh tones are offset against a virtuoso display of technique in saturated gemstone-like colors. Evidence of his skill as a draftsman is everywhere, but notably in the lines of the receding and uneven tesserae. Godward was interested in classical settings and the tepidarium, one of the three rooms in the roman baths, excuses the model's nude state. Bathers would usually enter into the baths through the tepidarium, which was warmed through radiant heat beneath the fine marble floors and walls before proceeding to the caladaria and frigidarium, respectively, the hot and cold baths.