A Greek Woman Lawrence Alma Tadema Buy Art Prints Now
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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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A Greek Woman by Lawrence Alma Tadema was produced in 1869. It was commissioned by Ernest Gambart who was a Belgian-born English art dealer, with whom Tadema had a good business relationship.

The techniques used by Tadema to paint A Greek Woman involved dark pigment onto white canvas which was different from the impressionist method of painting at the time. However, there were times where he would use some of their techniques which was the conventional method of adding highlights to a dark background. A Greek Woman might appear at first glance to be in the style of Romanticism due to the flowers and plants in the foreground.

The woman is holding a flower and appears to be lost in thought. The background depicts soldiers on horses moving in a procession. Yet, this is clearly a Classical scene not only because of the title, A Greek Woman but due to the Greek keys at the top of the painting and the costume. Tadema was known for his Classical portraits which made him a master in his day. This painting could be seen as both because the techniques used in Classicism and Romanticism are in this portrait.

The materials used in this painting are oil and canvas. The woman looks very realistic and her look is smooth, but the rest of the painting is not as smooth or as defined as the female figure. This makes the woman the focus of the painting while everything else appears to fade into the background. The medium to dark green foliage also helps to frame the female character as the focal point of A Greek Woman. It is clear that much thought was put into the placement of the figure and other objects in this artwork. A Greek Woman was sold and presented under different names such as In The Garden and En Fleurs Jardin. It was sold to Christie's in New York, on October 27, 1982, where it was bought by the present owner. The painting is of medium size, 23 x 18 inches (96.5 x 66cm), but with the frame it's 38 x 26 inches (96.5 x 66 cm).