Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

1836–1912

Biography

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, OM, RA (; born Lourens Alma Tadema [ˈlʌurəns ˈɑlmaː ˈtaːdəˌmaː]; 8 January 1836 – 25 June 1912) was a 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 nineteenth-century English art.

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Artworks

Features

Art Term

Olympians

The term Olympians was often used to describe certain Victorian artists whose work emphasised the classical in both style and ...

Blog

Works of the week: A Favourite Custom by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and La Hollandaise by Walter Sickert

As a new chronological display of Tate Britain’s permanent collection is unveiled this week, Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate ...

Tate Paper

The Materials Used by British Oil Painters in the Nineteenth Century

This paper reviews existing literature on nineteenth-century British artists’ materials. Sources of information, such as colourmen’s archives, artists’ diaries ...

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