Sir Lawrence Alma-TademaSunday Morning ?1871

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Artwork details

Artist
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836‑1912)
Title
Sunday Morning
Date ?1871
MediumOil paint on wood
Dimensionssupport: 400 x 330 mm frame: 688 x 622 x 97 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Bequeathed by R.H. Prance 1920
Reference
N03527
Not on display

Summary

Sunday Morning depicts an imaginary scene in a Dutch house in the seventeenth century. A midwife, holding a new born baby, looks out of a window on to the streets lit by the sun. A woman, dressed in black, is seated next to her leafing through the pages of a large book, perhaps a Bible. The subject of Sunday Morning is evident from an earlier painting of the same scene entitled A Birth Chamber, Seventeenth Century (1868) now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. This painting, which is larger than the version at Tate, includes to the left the mother of the child lying on a bed and her servant seated beside her.

Born in the Netherlands, Alma-Tadema entered the Antwerp Academy at the age of sixteen. Here he came under the influence of the Dutch painter Joseph Dyckmans (1811-88). Known as the ‘Dou of Belgium’ Dyckmans primarily painted genre scenes inspired by seventeenth century artists, including Pieter de Hooch (1629-84), Nicholaes Maes (1634-93) and Gerrit Dou (1613-75). With few exceptions paintings by these artists are characterised by a sensitivity to natural light and a skill in painting detail. The warm glow which bathes the woman and child, contrasting starkly with the darkened interior, reveals Alma-Tadema’s awareness of these sources… (read more)

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