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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Lawrence Alma Tadema was a famous Dutch painter who influenced 19th century British art

He began to build his reputation shortly after the artist moved to England following the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. The highly skilled Dutchman produced classic scenes which are instantly recognisable and covered highly detailed scenes from the Roman Empire. Alma Tadema was trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp before settling in England where he stayed for the rest of his life. His work proved extremely popular with it's scenes from classical continental Europe with blue seas set against foregrounds of stunning women and stylish Roman architecture.

This alternative look proved to be to the taste of the British art public who embraced his work with great passion and many British national galleries and museums now hold key paintings from his career. Lawrence Alma Tadema showed his commitment and happiness with life in the UK having changed his birthname of Laurens to Lawrence in order to reflect where he now felt home to be. For this reason many actually fail to realise his non-British roots until further inspection.

Another interesting adjustment made by the artist to his name was to ajoin Alma to his surname, for the sole purpose of placing him at the top of artistic catalogues that were normally listed alphabetically. The artist was initially under pressure from his family to pursue a noble, respectable profession such as in law before suffering serious mental issues at a young age which allowed him time to himself to instead grow as an artist and expand his skills before being accepted into the Antwerp School where his career as an artist was now to be fully respected and even encouraged.

It was at the start of the 1860s that his paintings first started to appear and immediately drew interest and praise from art academics. Spring is our personal favourite from the entire career of Lawrence Alma-Tadema and you can see it above in all it's glory. Spring is an incredibly detailed painting which covers an exciting amount of activity with interesting, classical characters draped all across the painting. The level of detail ensures that this painting can capture your interest immediately and retain it for an extended period as you look around the art work, finding new visual information all the time.

Spring for us is his best painting, but you can find many others within this website. Spring was created by Alma Tadema in 1894 and is now on show at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California and makes visiting this excellent art gallery worthwhile even without considering the other art available here. This artwork sits alongside famous British artists like George Stubbs, Thomas Gainsborough, Turner and Constable. Spring is a narrow portrait painting which features interesting characters in every corner of the piece, appearing from various points around the overall setting of this Roman-style classical set of buildings.

Lawrence Alma Tadema's paintings have grown in popularity since the 1960s when his career started to regain interest from the art public. His paintings are now commonly bought as reproductions, normally in the forms of framed giclee art prints, posters or stretched canvases. The detailed style found in most of his paintings means they would be very expensive as handmade oil painting reproductions. Favorite Poet is an enchanting painting which features two pretty young ladies sat about reading passages from their favourite literature as they pass a day happily together.

These scenes are immediately charming to many and help underline why Alma Tadema's style was so popular with so many, and indeed continues to be so. All of the links provided in this website will take you straight to the Alma Tadema prints gallery where a huge collection of his paintings are available as reproductions. Spring is our favourite, and we ordered that ourselves as a framed giclee art print and were delighted with the result, so we're more than happy to recommend their website here.

Oleander is a romantic scene featuring a young woman sat on the floor with a small flower which has presumably been given to her as a gift by a charming gentleman. This pure minded type of painting is always likely to appeal to the masses who find this a positive depiction of Roman times and present this period in a enviable manner. Alma-Tadema may have been a Dutchman but he is best remembered to his contributions to the British art of the 19th century, which was a highly prolific period for a country which at that time gave the world the Pre-Raphaelites whose work beared some similarities to the classical style of this artist. Fellow Dutch artists also had links to the UK and influenced the Pre-Raphaelites, including Jan van Eyck and Van Dyck.

There are common uses of alluring women contemplating life whilst sitting in beautiful poses and this is also seen frequently in the works of Pre-Raphaelites such as JW Waterhouse, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and Holman Hunt. Baths of Caracalla is one of several paintings from the artist which capture women bathing in an exciting scene that many will enjoy. This type of work allows the artist to include great detail across his canvas and also develop his full length portraits with a whole host of them included within Baths of Caracalla.

Most of Alma Tadema's other bathing paintings cover only a few people making this one a little more important. Baths within Roman times were an important part of the social community where many friendships would be built up and develop and also people would find great relaxation here. The Roman baths have continued in some cases up to the modern day and this type of scene is very alluring to those who find it exciting and very different to the equivalents which we have today. Unconscious Rivals again captures two contrasting female portraits in full length figure which allows the artist to experiment with different hair colour and outfits between the two beautiful young women who adorn this particular painting.

Alma Tadema was always selective about the models which he would use in order to obtain consistency within his paintings. The females found within this site were carefully selected by an artist who would surely have taken in inspiration from the Pre-Raphaelites who had very similar content within many of their own paintings and concentrated on well dressed young women for their many portraits. Her Eyes are with Thoughts and They are Far Away continues the theme of Alma Tadema with an attractive young women sat in a thoughtful pose whilst surrounded by classical Roman marble that separates her from the background sea which suggests warmth and tranquility.

One significant strength of this painting is that it includes a beautiful flowering plant which adds to the beauty of this work and it is relatively unusual for Alma Tadema to include foliage in such a prominent way that might distract from his women that come in most paintings. The flowers here include pinks and purples that lift the painting with this additional colour that sits alongside the sea blues and marble whites. Coign of Vantage lures in the viewer who immediately wants to find out quite what the characters included in this painting are so keen to see. Coign of Vantage is one of the most frequently reproduced paintings from Alma-Tadema's career which itself contributed over 400 attributed works from a productive career.

This particular painting would be best suited as a large poster or print and a frame may not be necessary. Coign of Vantage includes marginally more detail on the portraits here than in many of his other paintings which makes them feel more real and also helps to interest the viewer in quite what they are trying to get a good look at. There is also a sort of mist which surrounds them which adds to the mythological feel of the activities going on here. Years at the Spring is another fine painting from Lawrence Alma Tadema and sets a single woman posing against the backdrop of roman marble, with a bright blue sea sat further behind.

This style is classic Alma-Tadema and the work fits perfectly from many others which he unsurprisingly produced around the same time. Others follow a similar theme, only with a greater amount of activity as seen in Spring. Years at the Spring features a dainty flowering plant behind the attractive model which helps to add interest as well as separating the painting between the woman and the sea that sits behind her. Alma-Tadema always used a very bright blue tone which perfectly matched the Roman scene that he was covering so often in his career. Apodyterium is one of the artist's better known paintings and features various nudes in a baths scene that is very common amongst artists who capture this historical era.

Such locations offer an ideal opportunity for a painter to show off their technical skills with regards full length portraits and there is also always an interesting atmosphere where females relax together in such a scenario. A charming aspect of the bath scene within Apodyterium would have to be the lifelike marble patterns which Alma Tadema beautifully places within this painting as a background element. It's incredible accuracy makes this marble attract your attention after having first viewed the beautiful undressed figures. It seems possible to imagine yourself here such is the technical qualities of the artist, with the textures of the marble seemingly familiar.

Roses of Heliogabalus is an incredible Alma Tadema artwork which holds unbelievable detail of flowers that cover the various people in a mythical setting. Roses of Heliogabalus holds an excellent choice of colour thanks to the great weight of flowers that take up so much of the canvas. In a Rose Garden again combines two close female friends together in a scene that is added to with flowers that intertwine with the two portraits which are full length, as always, and also have the common blue scene set against the background. In considering the role of Dutch and German artists in British art, you maya also study the work of Hans Holbein. Other notable British contributors included Edwin Landseer, William Hogarth, Frederic Leighton and Joshua Reynolds