Exhibition Publication - Lawrence Alma-Tadema (2016)

Publication coinciding with exhibition at Museum of Friesland, Leeuwarden, Holland; Belvedere, Vienna; and Leighton House Museum, London (2016-17)

Lawrence Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity (2016)Lawrence Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity
Edited for the Fries Museum by Elizabeth Prettejohn & Peter Trippi
Forewords by Kris Callens, Director, Fries Museum; Agnes Husslein-Arco, Director, Belvedere; Timothy Coleridge, Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, Transport and Arts, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; Daniel Robbins, Senior Curator, Leighton House Museum
Introductions by Elizabeth Prettejohn
Essays by Jan Dirk Baetens, Ivo Blom, Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, Markus Fellinger, Charlotte Gere, Elizabeth Prettejohn, Daniel Robbins, Marlies Stoter, Peter Trippi
Highlights by Eline van den Berg, Carolyn Epps Dixon, Alistair Grant, Anne Helmreich, Ian Jenkins, Stephanie Moser, Wendy Sijnesael, Robert Verhoogt
Translations: Mark Poysden, Steven Lindberg
Published by Prestel, 2016

ISBN 978-3-7913-5552-8 (English trade edition)
ISBN 978-3-7913-6689-0 (English museum edition)
ISBN 978-3-7913-5551-1 (German trade edition)
ISBN 978-3-7913-6688-3 (German museum edition)
ISBN 978-3-4625-8158-6 (Dutch trade edition)
ISBN 978-3-4625-8172-2 (Dutch museum edition)

Alma-Tadema publications (2016) - English, Dutch, German

Book covers, clockwise from left: English trade cover; English exhibition-sales cover; German cover; Dutch cover

Lawrence Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity is the publication accompanying the international exhibition held at Leighton House Museum from 7 July to 29 October 2017.  The exhibition had previously been on show at the Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Holland (1 October 2016 - 7 February 2017) and the Belvedere, Vienna (23 February -18 June 2017); and the book is also available in Dutch and German.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s paintings were immensely popular among his contemporaries, and have since enchanted a wide audience through the medium of cinema. Anyone who has ever enjoyed the great epic films of antiquity—from Italian silent classics to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator—will instantly recognize their origins in sets and costumes Alma-Tadema invented.

Accompanied by glowing reproductions of the artist’s rich and detailed works, this book boldly re-assesses Alma-Tadema’s art through the idea of home: from his admiration for the interiors depicted in early Dutch paintings through his fascination with Pompeian ruins, to his creation of large studio houses that were artworks in their own right. Building upon Alma-Tadema’s renown as ”the archaeologist of artists,” the new scholarship in this impressive volume shows how the spaces he created and inhabited with his talented artist-wife Laura and their two daughters reflected an aesthetic vision that has thrilled viewers and other artists for more than a century. Appealing to general and scholarly audiences alike, this book underscores Alma-Tadema’s reputation as one of his era’s greatest creative talents.

The book is co-edited by Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn (University of York), one of the exhibition’s co-curators.  Professor Prettejohn wrote introductions to each of the book’s four sections, as well as contributing the essay ‘Painting at Home’.

Contents include:

Part I – The Beginning of a Journey:

'Dronryp to Brussels, 1836–1870' - introduction by Elizabeth Prettejohn
'Lourens Alma, Born and Bred in Friesland' by Marlies Stoter
'Alma-Tadema in Antwerp: The Legacy of Henri Leys' by Jan Dirk Baetens
'Tactility' - highlight by Wendy Sijnesael
'An Informed Inventiveness' - highlight by Ian Jenkins
'Archaeology and Ancient Egypt' - highlight by Stephanie Moser

Part II

'At Home in London, 1870–1885' - introduction by Elizabeth Prettejohn
'The Alma-Tademas’ Two Homes in London' by Charlotte Gere
'Painting at Home' by Elizabeth Prettejohn
'Electrotype Replicas' - highlight by Alistair Grant
'A Glimpse of the East' - highlight by Eline van den Berg

Part III

'Celebrity at Home and Abroad, 1886–1912' - introduction by Elizabeth Prettejohn
'The Importance of Being Famous: Alma-Tadema and the Construction of Celebrity' by Petra ten-Doesschate Chu
'Picturing Places: Frederic Leighton and Lawrence Alma-Tadema' by Daniel Robbins
'Alma-Tadema’s Influence on the Young Gustav Klimt' by Markus Fellinger
'Laura Theresa Epps Alma-Tadema: Artist' - highlight by Carolyn Epps Dixon
'The Gardens at Grove End Road' - highlight by Anne Helmreich
'Reproducing Alma-Tadema' - highlight by Robert Verhoogt

Part IV

'Art in Motion' - introduction by Elizabeth Prettejohn
'All the World’s a Stage' by Peter Trippi
'The Second Life of Alma-Tadema' by Ivo Blom


Roberto C. Ferrari included the book in his review of the exhibition for Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide:

‘This color in Alma-Tadema’s paintings come through beautifully in every illustrated page of the catalogue published to accompany this exhibition. The text is a welcome addition to the scholarship on Alma-Tadema, with a series of in-depth essays by a number of authors that help contextualize the artist’s work not just chronologically but also thematically and cross-culturally allowing for a broader appreciation of his art.’

In their review of the exhibition, Dutch blog Scribe Diem described the publication as a ‘splendid and informative book’.

Exh Alma Tadema 23

Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Coign of Vantage, 1895,oil on canvas, 64 x 44,5 cm Collection of Ann and Gordon Getty, Photo: © Collection of Ann and Gordon Getty

Alma-Tadema, Unconscious Rivals, 1893, Bristol Museums & Art Gallery

Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Unconscious Rivals, 1893, oil on canvas, 45.1 x 62.8 cm, 74.5 x 92.6 x 7.4 cm (frame), Bristol Museums & Art Gallery, Bristol

Main image: Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Coign of Vantage (detail), 1895, oil on canvas, 58.88 x 44.45 cm, Collection of Ann and Gordon Getty

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