Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Peintre

Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Lawrence Alma-Tadema was born on January 8, 1836 in Dronrijp (Netherlands). From a young age, a developed a taste for art which led him to enter the Antwerp Academy in 1852. There he was trained by several different artists, including Louis de Taye, an archaeology professor, who had an important impact on the young Alma-Tadema's art. Taye advised him to concentrate on themes from the history of France and Belgium. While London was hosting the 1862 World's Fair, Lawrence Alma-Tadema discovered the British Museum's collections of antiques and the Parthenon frieze, imported from Ottoman Greece by Lord Elgin at the beginning of the century. This discovery of ancient sculpture led to a trip to the Italian excavation sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, after which he moved to Paris where the Greek Revival movement was flourishing. He finally settled in Rome following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. Through contact with the Parisian and then the London artistic scenes, Lawrence Alma-Tadema's art acquired a velvety-like look and a luminosity marked by the rendering of colours. Although he painted historical scenes from the medieval period, it was his scenes from Greco-Roman antiquity that really set him apart. In them, he portrayed lascivious figures in marble. His work, which carried out in an archaeological manner, is remarkable for its treatment of object. The flowers are painted with accuracy and the textures as well as rigidity of the metals and marble are rendered in a veristic manner. Lawrence Alma-Tadema died on June 25, 1912 in Wiesbaden (Germany).

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