Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Home / Museum / Search ARC Museum

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Netherlands Victorian Neoclassical, Olympian Classical Revivalist painter and draftsman

Born 1/8/1836 - Died 6/28/1912

Born in Dronrijp (Friesland, Netherlands)

Died in Wiesbaden (Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany)

  • Artworks
  • Biography
  • Relationships
  • Suggested Reading
  • Event Listing
  • Letters
  • Images of the Artist
  • Products


"Lawrence Alma-Tadema was one of the most renowned painters of late nineteenth century Britain. Universally admired for his superb draftsmanship and 'real to life' depictions of Classical antiquity he was much sought after by Victorian collectors who intimately connected with his vision. He so embraced the aspirations of his day that when the idealistic illusions of his age were shattered by modernism and the Great War his art fell from favour. Now, again, as the re-evaluation of that era is well underway his reputation is rebounding. The study of the artist and his art must begin as always with their origins ..."

This is an extract from Vern G. Swanson's landmark biography on the great Victorian artist. Dr Swanson is an acknowledged expert on Alma-Tadema and has written a critically acclaimed catalogue raisonée on the artist.

With his kind permission, the Art Renewal Center has been allowed to reprint his entire Alma-Tadema biography. This is an internet first: the complete, unabridged biography of a great master, printed with footnotes and copious illustrations. Where possible, supplementary links have been included to references in the text made to artists or personalities not so well known to twenty-first century audiences. In many cases, nineteenth century artists referred to in the text are also represented on ARC, and links have been provided to their galleries.

Further Reading:
  • Read the reaction of Andy to ARC's Alma-Tadema galleries ...

  • Personal

    cousin of

    father of

    husband of

    mother of


    associate member of

    • Royal Academy of Art from 1876

    full member of

    • Royal Academy of Art from 1879
    • Royal Accademia Romana di San Luca from 1907

    honorary member of

    • Oxford University Dramatic Society from 1890

    officer of

    • Legion d'Honneur from 1878

    27 January 2017 to 07 May 2017

    Victorian Treasures

    William Brown St, Liverpool, England L1

    Victorian Treasures brings together more than 60 outstanding Victorian paintings and watercolours from the art collections of National Museums Liverpool.

    Published on 01 January 2001
    Published on 01 January 2001
    Published on 06 November 2010

    [To Ballantyne]

    3/11 '83

    My dear Ballantyne[,]

    So glad to know you [are]
    at your post again[.]
    You know how much you
    are needed there[.]

          yours very truly
            L.Alma Tadema

    I had only three of those
    things to sign [-] is that enough?

    Image courtesy of Don Kurtz