A Favourite Custom

A Favourite Custom

Sir Laurence Alma Tadema OM RA, 1836-1912


Oil on wood

660 x 451 mm

Collection: Tate Britain N02675

Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1909

According to the museum website, “this scene is set in the baths at Pompeii. In the foreground one woman playfully splashes another bathing in the ‘frigidarium’, a cold bath. The artist based this work on photographs of the ruins of the Stabian baths, revealed by archaeologists in 1824. He has made them more luxurious by adding a marble floor and walls which would more usually have been found in larger imperial baths.”

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Details & related subjects

  • Flowers and vase at left
  • Woman holding towel and sponge
  • Clothing draped over marble bannister
  • Woman getting dressed at right
  • Thermae Antoninanae
  • Tepidarium
  • Apodyrium