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Lawrence Alma-Tadema – Virtual Tour

Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Lawrence Alma-Tadema – Virtual Tour

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 – 1912) was a Dutch painter with special British denizenship (permanent residency).

Born in the Netherlands, and trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, he settled in England in 1870 and spent the rest of his life there.

Virtual Tour of Lawrence Alma-Tadema 

Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a painter of classical-subjects, he became famous for his depictions of the decadence of the Roman Empire, with languorous figures set in fabulous marbled interiors or against a backdrop of the blue Mediterranean Sea and sky.

In London, Alma-Tadema found a ready market among the wealthy middle classes for paintings re-creating scenes of domestic life in imperial Roman times and Ancient Greek views.

Though admired during his lifetime for his skills in the depictions of Classical antiquity, his work fell into disrepute after his death. Only since the 1960s has it been re-evaluated for its importance within nineteenth-century British art.

Highlight Tour of Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Sappho and Alcaeus

“Sappho and Alcaeus” by Lawrence Alma-Tadema depicts the poet Alcaeus of Mytilene playing the kithara for the poet Sappho, accompanied by several of her female friends.

Sappho is paying close attention to the performance, resting her arm on a cushion which bears a laurel wreath, intended as a gift for the performer.

The white marble seating is based on the “Theater of Dionysus” in Athens, but the artist has replaced the original inscribed names of Athenians with the names of Sappho’s friends.

In the background, the Aegean Sea can be seen through the trees.


“Spring” by Lawrence Alma-Tadema depicts the festival of Cerealia in a classical Roman marble terraced street. In ancient Roman religion, the Cerealia was the major festival celebrated for the grain goddess Ceres.

It was held for seven days from mid to late April, and this painting shows the procession of women and children descending marble stairs carrying and wearing brightly colored flowers.

Cheering spectators fill all the vantage points of the classical Roman buildings.

Tadema’s curiosity about the ancient world of Greece and Rome was insatiable, and his knowledge is incorporated into this painting through architectural details, dress, sculpture, and ornaments that are based on Roman originals.

The Finding of Moses

The Finding of Moses by Lawrence Alma-Tadema was one of his last major works before his death in 1912.

This painting represented the final phase of a revival in the 19th century by Orientalist artists who were keen to add authentic archaeological decor to their depictions.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s art quickly fell out of favor, however after appreciation of Victorian painting was renewed Alma-Tadema’s reputation was rediscovered as was this painting.

The work is a Biblical scene based on the Book of Exodus, in which Pharaoh’s daughter comes to wash in the River Nile, and finds the infant Moses abandoned in a basket in the reeds.

The painting depicts the scene after the infant has been discovered, showing a procession on the way to the Princess home in Memphis, the capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt.

Self-Portrait Lawrence Alma-Tadema

  • Title:                 Self-Portrait Lawrence Alma-Tadema
  • Artist:               Lawrence Alma-Tadema
  • Year:                 1896
  • Type:                 Oil on panel
  • Dimensions:     Height: 66.5 cm (26.1″); Width: 53.5 cm (21″)
  • Museum:          Uffizi Gallery

Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Lawrence Alma Tadema: A collection of paintings

Lawrence Alma-Tadema

A Tour of Famous Artists You Should Know

Lawrence Alma-Tadema


” As the Sun colors flowers, so art colors life.”
– Lawrence Alma-Tadema


Photo Credit: Lawrence Alma-Tadema [Public domain]

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