<i>Study of hands</i> for <i>Under the Roof of Blue Ionian Weather</i>

SIR LAWRENCE ALMA -TADEMA (1836-1912) Biography

Study of hands for Under the Roof of Blue Ionian Weather (England, 1899)

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Pencil on paper
Inscribed 'Lizzy Cook' and dated 21.6.99


15.00cm high
26.00cm wide
(5.91 inches high)
(10.24 inches wide)
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Description / Expertise

This drawing is a study of the lower right female figure in the painting Under the Roof of Blue Ionian Weather (1901, Swanson 400, Walker Art Gallery). The final work was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1901

Drawings by Alma-Tadema are rare. Early on in his career, before 1860, he gave up the piano for his art. In the same way he was soon to abandon drawing for painting. In 1895 he described his method:

'I generally make a slight sketch of the picture I am going to paint... directly on the respective canvas or panel... I paint my figures direct from life in every instance, and always insist that they should be dressed and coiffured as completely as though they were sitting for the finishing touches.'

It was in 1896 that Henry Blackburn invited Alma-Tadema to submit drawings of his Royal Academy exhibits for publication in The Academy Notes. After a thirty-year break he was inspired once more to take up drawing as part of his professional routine. Like those of Leighton and Sargent, these drawings were not just preliminary studies, but works of art in their own right.