Lawrence Alma-Tadema, “The Finding of Moses,” oil on canvas, 53 3/4 by 84 in.

Ancient Rome in Victorian London: Time-Traveling with the Painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
The General Society Library, Manhattan, New York

The Royal Oak Foundation announces a special lecture with Peter Trippi, Independent curator and editor-in-chief of Fine Art Connoisseur on “Ancient Rome in Victorian London: Time-Traveling with the Painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema.”

“Alma-Tadema has always intrigued viewers with the immediacy of his settings and the tactility of his artifacts,” Trippi says. “Now, in this era of 3-D movies and virtual reality, his vision is more appealing than ever, and I look forward to more fully exploring these themes during my lecture.”

Unconscious Rivals by Lawrence Alma-Tadema | Fine Art Today
Lawrence Alma-Tadema, “Unconscious Rivals,” 1893, Bristol Museums & Art Gallery

“The High Victorians were fascinated with ancient Rome because they saw the British Empire as a bigger, more benevolent version of Rome’s,” says the foundation. “No one reanimated Rome more convincingly for them than the London-based painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, R.A. (1836–1912).

“Acclaimed for the painstaking realism of the expensive pictures he exhibited at the Royal Academy, Alma-Tadema immersed his viewers in a vanished world through compelling compositions full of carefully researched costumes and artifacts. Ultimately he extended his vision to grand theatre productions, working closely with stars such as Dame Ellen Terry, whose mementos of their partnership can be seen at Smallhythe, now a National Trust property.

“Alma-Tadema’s wife and two daughters were equally friendly with Terry: all of them proudly wore the loose-fitting ‘artistic’ clothing that Alma-Tadema painted and designed. Not surprisingly, filmmakers were captivated, too: they transferred his scenes to the screen while he was still alive and have continued to do, most recently in the sumptuous ‘sword-and-sandal’ movies of Sir Ridley Scott.”

Cost: $30 members; $40 non-members. Fine Art Today readers are invited to enjoy the Royal Oak Foundation member price ($30) by using the promo code TADEMA when calling to register.

Call 212-480-2889 x 201 to register and learn more at

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. Click here to start receiving Fine Art Today for free.


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