The Juggler

SIR LAWRENCE ALMA -TADEMA (1836-1912) Biography

The Juggler (England, 1870)

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Oil on canvas, mounted on panel
Signed and dated upper right, 'L.Alma-Tadema 1870'


78.70cm high
50.10cm wide
(30.98 inches high)
(19.72 inches wide)
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Commissioned by Messrs Ernest Gambart, London, 1870, sold 1870

Jose de Murietta (Marquis de Santurce), Catalan, Spain, sold Christie's, April 30th, 1892 , lot 149

Messrs Arthur Tooth & Sons, London, sold 1893

Mr. Biesing, sold Diligentia, The Hague, December 1893

N A Streengracht Van Moyland, sold Messrs Alfred Preyer, Amsterdam, Sep 10th, 1895, lot 102

Messrs Braskamp, Amsterdam

Stephen G Holland, London, by 1897, sold Christie's, Jun 25th 1908, lot110

Messrs Wallace, London

Private collection, Texas, sold 1977

Maurice Sternberg Galleries, Chicago, sold May 1978

Charles Jerdein, London

Private collection, USA



Illustrated London News, May 14th, 1870, page 503

Atkinson J Beavington, Contemporary Art - Poetic and Positive: Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Alma-Tadema, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine CXXXIII March 1883, London, page 404

Carel Vosmaer, Laurence Alma-Tadema & C J G Vosmaer, Alma-Tadema Catalogue Raisonné, unpublished manuscript Leiden circa 1885, number 94

Helen Zimmern, L Alma-Tadema Royal Academician: His Life & Work, Art Journal, The Art Annual for1886, page 13

Eigen Haard, 1895, figure 9 reproduced

Messrs Alfred Preyer (auction catalogue) frontispiece 1895, reproduced page 64

A G Temple, The Art of Paintings in the Queen's Reign: Diamond Jubilee, London, 1897, pages 192-3 reproduced Magazine of Art, 1903, pages 519-20

Percy Cross Standing, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema O.M., R.A., London, 1905, page 50 reproduced

Rudolph Dircks, The Later Works of Alma-Tadema O.M. R.A. R.W.S., Art Journal Supplementary monograph Christmas issue December 1910, page 27

Vern G Swanson, The Biography and Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma- Tadema, Garton & Co London, 1990, catalogue number 119, page 136, reproduced page 326

Exhibition History

London, Royal Academy, 1870, number 153

London, Grosvenor Gallery, Winter exhibition, 1882 number 27

London, Guildhall Corporation, Loan exhibition, 1897, number 104

Description / Expertise

In the peristylum of a wealthy Pompeian villa, an Egyptian juggler performs his tricks before several patricians. Against the left wall can be seen the Young Hercules Wrestling a Snake, a bronze from the Museo Nazionale in Naples.

The Juggler marks Alma-Tameda’s first inclusion of Egyptian subject-matter into Roman settings. Previously he had painted Egyptian subjects in Egypt during the Roman period. The Juggler did just the opposite with its depiction of an Egyptian performer in Pompeii. Another example of this sort of combination is found in The Egyptian Architect (CXLVIII, 1875).