LADY LAURA ALMA-TADEMA PAINTINGS FOR SALE & BIOGRAPHY
LADY LAURA ALMA-TADEMA
Lady Laura Alma-Tadema studied at the British Museum School under William Cave Thomas and William Bell Scott. In 1870 she began her studies with Lawrence Alma-Tadema, whose second wife she became in 1871. The principal subjects of her paintings are children at play, often placed in 17th-century Dutch settings, among Dutch furniture and accessories modeled on those in her husband’s collection. She emphasized everyday scenes in domestic interiors, as seen in Airs and Graces (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum). Although the costumes and setting of this painting, as well as the general composition with the light coming from a window on the right, are characteristic of 17th-century Dutch works, the anecdotal sentiment conveyed by the pretty, graceful girls dancing vainly is thoroughly Victorian in feeling. She also painted children in contemporary settings, portraits of children (mainly in pastel), still-lifes (e.g. Still-life with a Self-portrait, The Hague, Rijksmuseum Mesdag) and some Classical subjects. From 1873 she exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts and in other galleries in London and elsewhere in Great Britain. She also showed in Berlin and Paris and in 1878 was one of only two women to be invited to participate in the Exposition Universelle in Paris, where she was awarded a silver medal. She also produced illustrations for the English Illustrated Magazine. She traveled frequently with her husband to Italy, where she executed a number of small landscape studies, and to France, Belgium and the Netherlands.