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 :. | Portrait of George Aitchison PRIBA (mk23) | This is our Corner (Portrait of Laurense and Anna Alma-Tadema) (mk23) | The Death of the First-Born (mk23) | Cleopatra at the Temple of Isis at Philae (mk23) | After the Audience (mk23) |
Related Artists:Francois Bonvin
Francois Bonvin Location
Bonvin was born in humble circumstances in Paris, the son of a police officer and a seamstress. When he was four years old his mother died of tuberculosis and young Francois was left in the care of an old woman who underfed him. Soon his father married another seamstress and brought the child back into the household. Nine additional children were born, putting a strain on the familys resources, and to make matters worse his stepmother took to abusing and undernourishing Francois.
The young Bonvin started drawing at an early age. His potential was recognized by a friend of the family, who paid for him to attend a school for drawing instruction at age eleven. This instruction ended after two years, when his father apprenticed him to a printer, and Bonvin was to remain mostly self-taught as an artist. He spent his free time at the Louvre where he especially appreciated the Dutch old masters. Bonvin married a laundress at the age of twenty, at about the same time that he secured a job at the headquarters of the Paris police. It was during this period in his life that he also contracted an illness which would trouble him for the rest of his life.
Bonvin exhibited three paintings in the Salon of 1849, where he was awarded a third-class medal. He exhibited in the Salon of 1850 with Courbet, and won recognition as a leading realist, painting truthfully the lives of the poor which he knew at first hand. His paintings were well received by critics and by the public. Although his work had elements in common with Courbets, his modestly scaled paintings were not seen as revolutionary. He was awarded the Legion d honneur in 1870.
His subjects were still life and the everyday activities of common people, painted in a style that is reminiscent of Pieter de Hooch and Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin. It is the latter who is especially recalled by Bonvins delicate luminosity.
In 1881 he underwent an operation which did not restore him to health, and he became blind. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held in 1886. He died at Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1887. Zacharie Vincent
George H Story