A Roman Studio

SIR LAWRENCE ALMA -TADEMA (1836-1912) Biography

A Roman Studio (England, 1874)

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Oil on panel
Signed and inscribed with opus number, 'Opus CXXXVI, 1874'


64.70cm high
95.30cm wide
(25.47 inches high)
(37.52 inches wide)
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Commissioned by Messrs Ernest Gambart, London, 1874;
Inherited by Messrs Pilgeram & L H Lefevre, London, sold 1875;
José de Murietta (Marquis de Santurce), Catalan, Spain, sold Christie's April 30th, 1892 (148) for £945;
Frickenhaus, sold 1893;
Messrs Tooth & Sons, London, sold 1896 ;
Alexander T Hollingworth, London, sold Christie's April 29th, 1929 (92) for £399;
Messrs W. W. Sampson, London, sold 1929;
Edith A Lloyd, sold 1970;
Messrs James Graham & Sons, New York, sold 1976;
Practice Development Associates, Lafayette, California, sold 1976;
Dr Richard Witten, Fresno, California, sold May 1981;
Joan Michaelman, New York, sold June 1981;
Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, sold June 1981;
Judge Buchannan, Indianapolis, Indiana, sold 1985


Carel Vosmaer, c. 1885, number 158
Art Journal, London, 1886, illustrated as the frontispiece
Helen Zimmern, L. Alma-Tadema Royal Academician: His Life and Work, Art Annual, London, 1886, pages 16,17, illustrated page 14
William Cosmo Monkhouse, Laurens Alma-Tadema,R.A., Scribner's Magazine XVIII, London, December 1895, page 670
H. Standing, 1905, page 52
Rudolf Dircks, Sir L. Alma-Tadema, O.M., R.A., Virtue and Co, London, 1910, page 28
Royal Academy, exhibition catalogue, 1913, page 15
Reitlinger, 1961, page 233
Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, Spring, 1966, page 29, reproduced
Jerry E Patterson, The Norman Rockwell of the pagans or the return of Alma-Tadema; The Candid Cameraman Collects, Auction, Febuary 1971, London and New York, page 43, reproduced
Lowe Art Museum, exhibition catalogue, page 22, reproduced
Burlington Magazine, April 1972, page lxix, reproduced
Brigham Young University, exhibition catalogue, page 10

Exhibition History

Glasgow Institute, Autumn, 1875.
Grosvenor Gallery, Winter Exhibition, 1882, number 90
London, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Winter, 1894, number 106 (as A Roman picture gallery)
London, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Winter 1895, number 167
Birmingham Royal Society of Artists, 31st Spring Exhibition, 1896, number 349
London, Royal Academy, Winter Exhibition, 1913, number 24
Miami, Lowe Art Museum, March-April 1972 number 14
Utah, Brigham Young University, February 1979, number 17

Description / Expertise

Antistius Labeon (or Titidius Labeo, sometimes erroneously called Aterius Labeo), was a Roman amateur artist who lived during the reign of Vespasian and was Pro-Consul of the Gallia Narbonensis district. He was noted for painting the domestic life of ancient Rome. Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema naturally identified himself as a latter day version of this artist from antiquity.
In A Roman Studio the ancient Roman artist Antistius Labeon shows his latest works to an appreciative group of connoisseurs. Alma-Tadema therefore represented himself as Antistius, standing to one side and observing their reaction to his work. The group of connoisseurs is Alma-Tadema’s brother-in-law, Washington Epps, George Napoleon Epps, the artist's father-in-law and Laura, Alma-Tadema’s wife.
Alma-Tadema began this memorial to his father-in-law after he had died on May 28th 1874 in Holland. The artist painted several other works on the picture gallery theme.