Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema Biography

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema Biography

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema was an exceptional Dutch painter. Here are some facts about His career, artistic background, and family life.


The Life of Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a painter who was born in the Netherlands but settled in the United Kingdom. After his childhood, he trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Belgium.

In 1870, he moved to London, England, and spent most of his life there. He was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1882.

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Born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, he was the son of Pieter and Hinke Tadema. The first major milestone in Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema's life occurred when he was four years old. When his father died! Afterward, his mother incorporated drawing lessons into the children's education.

He eventually took his first art training from a local drawing master. Soon after, he attended the Royal Academy of Antwerp and studied under the noted Belgian painter Gustaf Wappers.

His work at the Academy earned him several awards. He began painting after gaining experience at a Belgian art studio. He was influenced by the work of renowned artist Jan de Taeye and was encouraged to portray authenticity in his paintings.

Taeye urged Alma-Tadema to study history and art books during this time. In 1857, he left the Academy and became an assistant to Baron Jan August Hendrik Leys. His work there, such as The Education of Clovis, was highly praised by art enthusiasts.

Although his work was highly praised for its technical skill it still remained unpopular among collectors. In 1870, Alma-Tadema met Laura Theresa Epps, an artist and the housekeeper for the British painter Ford Madox Brown.

He proposed marriage to Laura, who was 18 years old at the time. Laura was a well-educated artist and appeared in many of her father's works.

She had a profound influence on Tadema's artistic abilities and ultimately won him a great deal of fame. After his marriage, he went on to publish many books. His biography is filled with interesting facts about his life.

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Despite being an accomplished artist, Lawrence Alma-Tadema was also a sensitive man. He took art criticism seriously.

His mental health deteriorated after the loss of his mother in 1863. While living in Belgium, Alma-Tadema remained active in the art world. He became involved in the theater, designing many costumes, and expanding his artistic horizons into furniture design.

He modeled his furniture after illustrations he had seen. As his art career developed, Alma-Tadema began to study at the studio of the famous Belgian painter, Joseph Laurent Dyckmanns.

While there, he began to focus on illustrating the low-life life of the Netherlands, and one of his paintings from this period, such as a poacher returning home after a hunt.

He also studied under Louis Jan de Taeye, who taught historical costume at the Academy of Art. Leys was a mentor to both Alma-Tadema and introduced him to art books.

After a brief career in Belgium, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema relocated to the United Kingdom. During his lifetime, he was admired for his depictions of the Roman Empire and the Classical relics.

After the death of his wife in 1869, Tadema was devastated. He painted her portraits several times, and a famous one, Pauline, appears in My studio (1867).

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Nevertheless, he married Marie-Pauline Gressin, the daughter of a wealthy French writer. In 1873, he and his second wife were naturalized as British citizens.

In 1876, he rented a studio in Rome and painted "An Audience at Agrippa's". In 1877, he was awarded the Royal Academician title. His second marriage, to Marie-Pauline Gressin-Dumoulin, gave him a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

They had two children together, but their first child died at an early age. The portraits of his daughters, Anna and Laurence, were later published in 1903.

As he aged, his output declined but he remained active until the end of his life. Queen Victoria knighted him in 1899 and he helped with the British Pavilion at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle.

Alma-Tadema won the Grand Prix Diploma at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. Later in his career, his works received several awards, including the decoration of Honor at the Paris Exposition Universelle.

Artists of all genres have benefited from the creative instincts of Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema.

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema Artworks

The works of Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema range from decorative pictures to paintings on marble. They are reminiscent of Tissot's work.

The artist also had a career in theater production. In addition to painting, he designed furniture and costumes for stage productions.

Later, Alma-Tadema was also involved with theater design, designing costumes for actresses. Liberty's of London dresses were incredibly popular in England and America.

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He also ventured into furniture design. His pieces were based on Egyptian and Pompeian motifs. The artist was prolific in this field and incorporated these into his paintings.

His female subjects were modeled after his own designs. In addition to being a painter, he was also an outstanding businessman. In his later years, he also collaborated with other artists, including D. W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille.

Alma Tadema's children were also drawn to painting, but they never grew up to be prominent painters. 

His family was deeply religious, and many of the paintings that they produced were based on their faith. Alma-Tadema's life was marked by his love of art and learning about different cultures.

If you like this article, please share it with others, so perhaps they can also enjoy it and get inspired. Any of the artwork purchased on ATX Fine Arts accommodates me as an artist/ writer along with helping the site grow organically, thank you.


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