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A Coign of Vantage -Lawrence Alma Tadema [Fine Art Reproductions] - Fine ArtA Coign of Vantage -Lawrence Alma Tadema [Fine Art Reproductions] - Fine ArtA Coign of Vantage -Lawrence Alma Tadema [Fine Art Reproductions] - Fine ArtA Coign of Vantage -Lawrence Alma Tadema [Fine Art Reproductions] - Fine Art

A Coign of Vantage -Lawrence Alma Tadema [Fine Art Reproductions]


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A Coign of Vantage

Lawrence Alma-Tadema Paintings For Sale

The 1895 painting is a distinct model of artwork and one of the most commercially triumphant pieces of the nineteenth century, it is fascinating and adds value to modern art trends. Alma-Tadema was a romanticism painter who was born in 1836, in the Netherlands but moved to England in 1870. Alma-Tadema spent the remainder of his profession becoming one the most influential artist and extremely paid painters of his era. Alma-Tadema was a member of the exceptional few that was in the Royal Academy of Arts. Alma-Tadema was also a member of the Order of Merit. Alma-Tadema’s technique was distinguished by this kind of substantial, experiential rendering of classical Roman and Greek life. The largely completed color inclination obtained as the sea becomes the sky denotes A Coign Of Vantage out as one of Alma-Tadema’s most enthusiastic depictions of Neo-classical everyday life, which was beloved in Victorian England. Alma-Tadema organized his paintings into a classification scheme by adding an opus number below his signature and attributing his earlier paintings with numbers as well.

A Coign of Vantage is a painting that displays three Roman women savoring the landscape from their home. Below the three women, sailboats return to the docks underneath them and they have a stunning vantage point provides a majestic scene of these ships that are coming back from either battle or trading. The warm golden sunlight strikes the painting a delicate feel with each woman represented magnificently. One kneels on a sitting bench as she looks over the house; she seems young with the black curls tied on her head with petals surrounding it. It appears as if she can recognize each man on the docks, and is searching for her young lover to wave and welcome him home. The other two women seem a little older but still young, dressed in flowing cloth as they gaze out. One stands on the ledge to view beyond the edge with the other woman. The redhead draws in the sun gazing out into the sea. The slope of the sea can be clearly recognized as the value shifts from the lightest of blue that almost blends with the sky to a tranquil mix of blue-green of the sea. Extreme detail was put in the garments of the women, the limestone ledge and even the great bronze creature that views out to the sea with his yellowish flower ornament.

Fine Arts A Coign of Vantage Lawrence Tadema famous artwork

A Coign of Vantage Painting - Lawrence Alma Tadema Prints

Below is an analysis of Coign of Vantage from The Art Book

Beard, L., Butler, A., Cleave, C. V., Fortenberry, D., & Stirling, S. (2014). The art book. London: Phaidon Press.

"Three Roman women watch the return of galleys from a corner, or 'coign'. This charming work conveys a sense both of height and of warm sunlight. The fabric of the women's clothes, the marble ledge, and the bronze beast are all rendered in great detail. In the handling of the women and the sea far below, the artist shows his great skill with a complicated perspective. A Dutch painter who moved to England in 1870, Alma-Tadema had a successful career and was lavished with personal and professional honors in his lifetime."

"Lawrence Alma Tadema Neo-Classical portrayals of ancient Roman, Greek, and Egyptian life were highly popular with Victorian society. They also showed the artist's knowledge of archaeology and social history. On several occasions, Alma-Tadema was commissioned for theatre designs, in particular, Sir Henry Irving's 1901 production of Coriolanus at the Lyceum Theatre in London."

A Coign of Vantage Meaning

a favorable position for observation or action.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema Biography

As a child, it was decided that Alma-Tadema would pursue the career of a lawyer, but he suffered a mental and physical breakdown when he was fifteen years old. He was diagnosed as consumptive, given a short time to live, and thus free to pursue a life of leisure and pleasure. Once left to his own devices, he decided to study art, as his mother had paid for art lessons in his earlier childhood and it was one of his interests. He regained his health and studied at the Royal Academy of Antwerp in 1852, where he won several respected awards. His first major work was exhibited in 1858, and it won much critical praise, and creating a sensation in the art world. By 1862, he set own in his own studio to pursue his individual career in art. 

In 1869, Alma-Tadema lost his wife of six years to smallpox. Disconsolate and depressed, he ceased painting and his health was failing. Under the advice of his physician, he traveled to England for a medical diagnosis, where he was invited to the house of a fellow painter, Ford Madox Brown. It was here that he laid eyes on Laura Theresa Epps, who was 17 at the time, and fell madly in love with her. Alma-Tadema took advantage of the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war to relocate to England, where he wasted no time contacting Laura and contracting her in private art lessons. It was during one of these lessons that Alma-Tadema proposed, and they were married shortly thereafter. Alma-Tadema was 34 years old, and the bride 18.

Alma-Tadema spent the next part of his life traveling through Europe, and enjoying the continued success of his paintings. As a man, his bursts of bad temper were eased by his extroverted, warm personality and sense of mischief. A perfectionist and obsessive worker, he also innovated a new numbering technique, which made it difficult for forgers to pass off unoriginal works. In his later years, although his artistic output decreased somewhat, he enjoyed continued success, eventually becoming one of the wealthiest painters of the 19th century. He was knighted in England in 1899. 

In 1912, Alma-Tadema traveled to Germany to undergo treatment for stomach ulcer, and died in Germany at the age of 76. After his death, his work was mostly ignored. Due to the drastic changes taking place in art, Alma-Tadema’s artistic genius would not come into the public eye again until the 1960s. His meticulous work had since been used as source material for dozens of Hollywood movies.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema Personality

Alma-Tadema was a sociable extrovert, highly popular with his peers, and the artistic soulmate of Lord Leighton. Superficially he was uncomplicated. He was an affectionate family man and a devoted husband. He was a boisterous individual with a lively sense of humor, a liking for mechanical toys, and practical jokes. He was extremely ambitious, both socially and materially, and had a strong sentimental streak. He was very hardworking and focussed, one of the few overt signs of his puritanical Nonconformist upbringing.

I include here a description of Alma-Tadema from Julian Hawthorne’s book ‘Ships That Pass In The Night,’ which is set out below :

‘A rather short, broad, blond personage stood before us; a broad forehead, pale grey eyes with eyeglasses, a big humorous mouth barely hidden by a thin, short, yellow beard. His front face was unremarkable, but his profile was as fine as an antique cameo….The vitality and energy of his aspect and movements and the volume of his voice were stunning; but this was in the first element only; he was very much alive, but in general demeanor and speech there was a soft incisiveness, almost a subtlety, with a variety of intonation and emphasis, and expressive gestures, and intense earnestness now and then. But his great delighted laugh constantly recurred, resounding through the beautiful rooms….Withal he was civilized and fine to the bone, and his utmost boisterousness never struck a wrong note.’

Death & Reputation

By the time of his death, his artistic day had gone, and the avant-garde held the man and his work in the utmost contempt; he was described in the 1920s as the worst painter of all time! Paintings for which Tadema had been paid large sums of money, sold at derisory prices, and in extreme cases were impossible to give-away. He still had some adherents and some uses. Cecil B DeMille, the Film Producer of Hollywood Epics, used Tadema’s paintings as an aid to the design of scenery for his films. The overall situation though was dire.

In the late 1960s, the revival of interest in Victorian painting gained impetus, and a number of well-attended exhibitions were held. But in the case of Alma-Tadema, there was one single bizarre incident which acted as a catalyst in his posthumous artistic reformation. Alan Funt, host of the American version of the television show Candid Camera had accumulated a collection of Alma-Tadema pictures. The unfortunate Funt was robbed by his accountant, who subsequently committed suicide. In memorable words I heard him use in a radio interview, Funt said that he realized he had every accouterment of a wealthy man except money. He was thus forced to sell his collection, at Sotheby’s in London on November 1973. From this sale, the interest in Alma-Tadema was re-awakened. In 1960 the Newman Gallery firstly tried to sell, then give away, without success, one of his most celebrated works ‘The Finding of Moses,’ of 1904. The initial purchaser had paid £5250 for it on its completion! When the same picture was auctioned at Christie's in New York in May 1995, it sold for £1.75 million.

More than eighty years after his death Lawrence Alma-Tadema was back in vogue.

Films such as D. W. Griffith's Intolerance (1916), Ben Hur (1926), and Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1956), and Cleopatra (1934) were influenced by Alma-Tadema's work. Jessie J. Laskey, co-writer on De Mille's The Ten Commandments has described how the producer would customarily spread out prints of Alma-Tadema paintings to indicate to his set designers the look he wanted to achieve.


• Wood canvas made from Birchwood sourced from sustainable Canadian forests                                         

• UV set inks, meaning the print resists water
• Each wood print is made in Montreal, Canada
• Easy care, don’t touch the print if you don’t have to, but you can wipe it with a dry or damp cloth to remove dust
• Arrives ready to hang! 4-panel frame in back allows you to just pop the wood print on a small nail in the wall, no wires necessary 

A Coign of Vantage by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (ready to hang).

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