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Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema explores a story of young love in Ask Me No More.
Unfortunately, it is not a story that ends well. Like Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers portrayed in the painting are pulled apart by forces that seem beyond their control. This painting is done in a Romantic style. Alma Tadema has picked a story which some of the people who view this painting may be familiar with. The lovers who are portrayed here are Pyramus and Thisbe. They both lived in Babylonia and from the time they were young children, they were neighbors.
They played together day by day as youngsters and began to look all starry eyed at each other as they became more established. The problem affecting them was the same as that of Romeo and Juliet. Despite the fact that they were neighbours, their families were unfriendly to each other. The youngsters had to hide their affection for each other. Eventually, Pyramus and Thisbe became tired of having their relationship remain a mystery. Even though they had an extraordinary meeting place at a divider between their homes, it was not enough. This is the stage at which Alma Tadema captures their relationship in his composition.
Sentimentalism or Romanticism, initially characterises the painting. It is sad and with its accentuation on that, it is likely to pull at the hearts of some viewers. While Alma Tadema does not take the tragic story to its ultimate end, the sense of unfulfilled longing that is evident in the scene portrayed is enough to leave a lasting impression on those who see it. This depiction has dependably been one of the top picks for people who enjoy stories of tragic love. It has a French title, "Ne Me Demandez Pas Plus". It was completed in 1906 by Sir Lawrence and like several of his other works, fell into obscurity for a while after his death. This may have been due to the shift in interest which is sometimes displayed by consumers when a new art movement arises.
It has risen again in popularity since then and is now quite expensive. The image has also been used in popular culture. There was even a jigsaw puzzle made using the image of this painting. The lovers Pyramus and Thisbe have also been portrayed by several other creative people like Pierre-Claude Gautherot and Niklaus Manuel.