Sir Lawrence Alma- Tadema (1836-1912)
Painter of scenes from everyday life in the ancient world who enjoyed an immense popularity in his time. The son of a Dutch notary who intended him for a medical career, Alma-Tadema studied art at the Antwerp Academy under the historical painter Hendrik Leys, assisting his master in 1859 with frescoes for the Stadhuis, Antwerp. During a visit to Italy in 1863, Alma-Tadema became interested in Greek and Roman antiquity and Egyptian archaeology, afterward depicting subjects almost exclusively from those sources.
Moving to England, he became a naturalized British subject in 1873 and was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1879. He was knighted in 1899. Alma-Tadema excelled at the accurate re-creation of ancient settings, costumes and the precise depiction of marble textures, bronze, and silk. His treatment of human figures is a mixture of restrained sentimentality and coy anecdote.
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