Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Netherlands / England / 1836 - 1912 / wikipedia / /
Same as Lourens Alma-Tadema.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, OM, RA (born Lourens Alma Tadema) 8 January 1836 – 25 June 1912); Dutch painter of special British denizenship. Born in Dronrijp, the Netherlands, and trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Belgium, he settled in England in 1870 and spent the rest of his life there. A classical-subject painter, he became famous for his depictions of the luxury and decadence of the Roman Empire, with languorous figures set in fabulous marbled interiors or against a backdrop of dazzling blue Mediterranean Sea and sky. Though admired during his lifetime for his draftsmanship and depictions of classical antiquity, his work fell into disrepute after his death, and only since the 1960s has it been re-evaluated for its importance within 19th-century English art.

Lourens Alma Tadema was born in the village of Dronrijp in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands. The surname Tadema is an old Frisian patronymic, meaning 'son of Tade', while the names Lourens and Alma came from his godfather.

"Here is a list of artists I would position in a ‘not-so-guilty pleasures’ category, for pure excessiveness and extravagance: this includes William-Adolphe Bouguereau, certain pieces by Rossetti, and more or less all works by the Dutch-born Academic painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912). The artist moved to England at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, where he became a key figure of the Victorian art scene. He also traveled to Rome several times during his career, and this is where his fascination with the luxurious Roman Empire was born.

There is something very satisfying about Alma-Tadema’s highly-detailed style of decadent classicism. A real charm can be found in his carefully depicted subject matter; every inch of the composition is planned and treated with equal attention."
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Wendy Wauters


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