Portrait of Lourens Alma Tadema (shown here with and without its frame). Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema OM RA (1836-1912). 1852. © Fries Museum, Collection Royal Frisian Society. Image at right (cropped at the left) provided by the Leighton House Museum for the purpose of reviewing their exhibition, "Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity" (7 July 2017 - 29 October 2017).

Alma-Tadema was born Lourens Alma Tadema in 1836 in Northern Holland. In his childhood, he suffered from financial uncertainty after his father, a public notary, died when he was just two. After a breakdown in his teens, he was diagnosed as a consumptive and therefore permitted to draw and rest. Upon recovery, he decided to take up art as a career. Moving to Belgium in 1852 when he was sixteen, he commenced a four-year training period at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, where he produced strong images like the self-portrait shown above, now on display in the drawing room of Leighton House.

Comment by Madeleine Emerald Thiele, excerpted from her review of the exhibition. Caption material and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Created 4 September 2017