Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence
b.Jan. 8, 1836, Dronrijp, Netherlands.
d.June 25, 1912, Wiesbaden, Germany.
Painter and designer of Dutch birth. The son of a notary, Alma-Tadema demonstrated an early artistic ability. In 1852 he entered the Antwerp Academy, where he studied under Gustaf, Baron Wappers, and Nicaise de Keyser. An important influence at this time was Louis De Taye, Professor of Archaeology at the academy and a practising artist. Alma-Tadema lived and worked with De Taye from 1857 to 1859 and was encouraged by him to depict subjects from the early history of France and Belgium. This taste for historical themes increased when Alma-Tadema entered Baron Henri Leys studio in 1859 and began assisting him with his monumental frescoes for the Antwerp Town Hall. While in Leys studio, Alma-Tadema produced several major paintings, for example the Education of the Children of Clovis (1861; ex-Sir John Pender priv. col., see Zimmern, p. 3) and Venantius Fortunatus Reading his Poems to Radagonda (1862; Dordrecht, Dordrechts Mus.), which are characterized by their obscure Merovingian subject-matter, rather sombre colouring and close attention to detail. Related Paintings of Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence :. | A Favourite Custom (mk23) | A Pyrrhic Dance (mk23) | Love's Jewelled Fetter (mk23) | Unconscious Rivals, | Interrupted (mk23) |
Related Artists:anguissola sofonisba
The best known of the sisters, she was trained, with Elena, by Campi and Gatti. Most of Vasari's account of his visit to the Anguissola family is devoted to Sofonisba, about whom he wrote: 'Anguissola has shown greater application and better grace than any other woman of our age in her endeavours at drawing; she has thus succeeded not only in drawing, colouring and painting from nature, and copying excellently from others, but by herself has created rare and very beautiful paintings'. Sofonisba's privileged background was unusual among woman artists of the 16th century, most of whom, like Lavinia Fontana (see FONTANA (ii),(2)), FEDE GALIZIA and Barbara Longhi (see LONGHI (i), (3)), were daughters of painters. Her social class did not, however, enable her to transcend the constraints of her sex. Without the possibility of studying anatomy, or drawing from life, she could not undertake the complex multi-figure compositions required for large-scale religious or history paintings. She turned instead to the models accessible to her, exploring a new type of portraiture with sitters in informal domestic settings. The influence of Campi, whose reputation was based on portraiture, is evident in her early works, such as the Self-portrait (Florence, Uffizi). Her work was allied to the worldly tradition of Cremona, much influenced by the art of Parma and Mantua, in which even religious works were imbued with extreme delicacy and charm. From Gatti she seems to have absorbed elements reminiscent of Correggio, beginning a trend that became marked in Cremonese painting of the late 16th century. This new direction is reflected in Lucia, Minerva and Europa Anguissola Playing Chess (1555; Poznan, N. Mus.) in which portraiture merges into a quasi-genre scene, a characteristic derived from Brescian models.
John Frederichk Lewis RA
Danish painter and illustrator. He was a student of C. W. Eckersberg at the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1825-33). His art reflects his constant observation of the world around him, in particular middle-class society, and the narrative element dominated his pictures of crowds in the city streets. Throughout his life he sought inspiration from literature and the theatre. In his early genre painting Moving Day Scene (1831; Niv?, Nivaagaards Malsaml.) it was the popular novelty of vaudeville that interested him. The October Festival (1839; Copenhagen, Thorvaldsens Mus.) reveals how Marstrand's five-year stay (1836-41) in Italy opened his eyes to the classical ideal of beauty. It was, however, an ideal that found little response in contemporary Denmark, and he turned towards a more anecdotal and humorous approach. In Scene of Country Life (1843; Copenhagen, Kon. Dan. Kstakad.), painted as a set subject for the Kunstakademi, Marstrand took as his theme a scene from Erasmus Montanus, a play by the 18th-century Danish poet and playwright Ludvig Holberg. Thereafter Holberg's comedies provided an inexhaustible source that satisfied Marstrand's need to pursue his investigations of human character. Family life similarly interested him throughout his career, as in his Scene of Daily Life (1857; Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst). Such group portraits as The Waagepetersen Family (1836; Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst) show an equal concern to depict the quiet details of Danish domestic life. Marstrand continued to travel abroad in search of inspiration. His stay in Venice in 1853-4 was particularly important; his studies there of the great Venetian painters improved his understanding of the handling of colour, as seen clearly in the many historical and religious paintings of his last years. Of particular interest is his mural decoration of Christian IV's chapel in Roskilde Cathedral (1864-6) with scenes from the life of the Danish monarch. Marstrand's paintings have a certain facetiousness which often obscures a much deeper philosophical content. For this reason, it is his drawings that arouse more admiration.