Glimpses Into Antiquity – The Art of Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) was one of the most successful painters in Britain in the latter years of the nineteenth century. Renowned for highly detailed views of domestic life set in ancient Rome, he as universally admired for his careful technique, skillful draftsmanship, and superb sense of color. His eclectic style combined classical objects (Greek and Roman art, architecture and costume) with the light and detail that are characteristic of traditional Dutch genre painting.
His imagined glimpses into antiquity provide an instructive view of Victorian society. The carefully researched settings are peopled with contemporary Britons. With the demise of the British Empire at the turn of the century, his pictures fell quickly into disfavor. By the time of his death in 1912 his reputation was greatly diminished. When he was twelve, he made several drawings illustrating scenes from Greek mythology. At the age of thirteen he received his first commission. At sixteen he moved to Antwerp to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts. He was very critical of his own work and destroyed much of it and painted over many pictures that he deemed unsatisfactory.
My personal favorite. I saw an Alma-Tadema exhibit at the Walters Gallery and loved the quiet beauty of these imagined scenes from antiquity.
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