The Sculpture Gallery
Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Dutch, 1836 - 1912
Oil on canvas
Overall: 86 1/2 × 67 1/2 in. (219.7 × 171.5 cm)
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Arthur M. Loew, Class of 1921A
Place Made: England, United Kingdom, Europe
Signed, and numbered, lower right: Alma-Tadema op. CXXV
Set in an ancient Roman city, this ambitious large-scale painting shows the atelier of a sculpture merchant. An enslaved man at the center of the painting, identifiable by the crescent-shaped plaque hanging from his neck, caters to a group of potential buyers. He turns a dark-colored labrum, or basin, decorated with the mythological creature Scylla, on what appears to be a wheel. On the left, the clients are an obviously wealthy aristocratic family, modeled after the artist’s relatives. The man with the beard is Lawrence Alma-Tadema himself, alongside his wife and children, and his brother, and sister-in-law. Identifiable ancient works of art surround the group. In the background, a small shop window opens onto a marketplace for decorative utilitarian and small-scale objects.
Alma-Tadema has produced here a sumptuous arrangement of antique objects in an exquisitely rendered interior. The marbles and bronzes are no longer presented as emblematic artifacts of a revered, quasi-mythical Golden Age, but rather as integral features of everyday life in ancient times. In a symphony of whites and grays, the artist demonstrates his own skill and talent for rendering the subtle textures and qualities of the stone and metal.
From the 2019 exhibition Emulating Antiquity: Nineteenth-Century European Sculpture, curated by Katherine W. Hart, Senior Curator of Collections and Barbara C. & Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming
FREN 1, Introductory French I, Kelly McConnell, Winter 2013
PHIL 23, Philosophy of Art, John Kulvicki, Winter 2013
ARTH 7, Pompeii in Antiquity and in the Modern Imagination , Steven Kangas, Winter 2012
COLT 73, 101, Spectacle and Exhibitionism, Michelle Warren, Winter 2012
ENGL 7, Writing About Art, Brett Gamboa, Winter 2012
ARTH 48.07, Michaelangelo's Modernism, Allan Doyle, Spring 2019
Alma-Tadema and Antiquity: Imagining Classical Sculpture in Late-Nineteenth-Century Britain, Harrington Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 28-September 28, 2008.
Emulating Antiquity: Nineteenth-century European Sculpture, Engles Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-February 23, 2020.
European Paintings from the College Collection, Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center Art Galleries, Dartmouth College,Hanover, New Hampshire, September 13-October 6, 1974.
Exhibition of Modern Works of Paintings and Sculpture, Forming the Collection of the Late George McCulloch, Esq., Winter Exhibition, 40th Year, Royal Academy of Arts, London, January 4-March 13, 1909.
Exposition Universelle, Paris, France, October 1878, no. 2.
Gambart, London, England, 1883.
Grosvenor Gallery, London, England, Winter, 1882, no. 59.
International Fine Art Exhibition, Rome, Italy, 1911, no. 119.
Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 16, 2007-October 2007.
Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 26, 2003-April 25, 2006.
Jubilee Exhibition, Royal Manchester Institution, Manchester, England, 1887.
Main Lobby, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, December 10, 1998-September 20, 2003.
Main Lobby, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 7, 1989-April 4, 1996.
Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, October 19, 2008-March 22, 2009; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, May 3-October 4, 2009.
Royal Academy Exhibition, London, England, Winter, 1913, no. 175.
Royal Academy, Berlin, Germany, November 1874.
Salon, Paris, France, May 1874, no. 19.
Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London, England, 1875, no. 26.
The Dartmouth Collection: 19th & 20th Century Paintings, Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center Art Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 17-November 6, 1982.
The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio, March 29, 2016-June 30, 2018.
World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, 1893, no. 59.
Benedict Read, "Exhibition Reviews: Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema," Apollo, vol. CXLV, no. 424 (June 1997), pp. 48-49.
Edwin Becker et.al., editor, Elizabeth Prettejohn et. al, authors, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, New York: Rizzoli, 1996, pp. 182-186, ill. p. 184, cat. no. 35, detail ill. p. 89
Vern G. Swanson, The Biography and Catalogue Raisonne of the Paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, London: Garton & Co., 1990, pp. 44, 45, 47, 69, no. 164, ill.
Vern Swanson, "Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema's A Sculpture Gallery", Porticus, vol. XII/XIII, 1989-90, p. 70, fig. 7.
John Ruskin,"Academy Notes", 1875, in "The Works of John Ruskin" (ed. E.T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn) London, 1980, vol. XXXIII, pp. 271-272.
Vern Swanson, "Alma-Tadema: The painter of the Victorian vision of the Ancient World", New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977, pp. 21-22, 50, 137, ill. p. 22.
C. Franklin Sayre, "Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema's A Roman Amateur", Yale University Art Gallery Bullentin, Jun 1973, pp. 12-17
Percy Cross Standing, "Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, O.M., R.A., London/Paris/N.Y./Melbourne: Cassell & Co., 1905, p. 52-53, p. 55-56, p. 82-83
Cosmo Monkhouse, "British Contemporary Artists", New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899, p. 213-214
Georg Ebers, "Lorenz Alma Tadema", New York: Gottsberger, 1886, pp. 67-70, ill. opp. p. 68.
Charles E. Pascoe, "The Exhibition of the Royal Academy", Art Joural, n.s. vol. 1, 1875, p. 186
Annual Report 2005-6, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2006, ill. p.45.
Samuel H. Kress Foundation, "Old Masters in Context 2000-2006", Norwich, Connecticut: Thames Printing, 2006, color ill. p. 79.
T. Barton Thurber, "European Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art", Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2008, pp. 88-89, ill. p.89, no. 41.
Carol C. Mattusch et. al., Pompeii and the Roman Villa, Washington, DC.: National Gallery of Art, 2008, ill. p. 293, no. 143.
Johann Joachim Winckelmann, "Letter and Report on the Discoveries at Herculaneum", Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 20011, detail ill. p. 114, no. 88.
Peter Delpeut, Pleidoi Voor Het Treuzelen,
Peter Delpeut, Pleidoi Voor Het Treutzelen ,Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Augustus,2011, p.86
Catalogue, Exhibition of Modern Works of Paintings and Sculpture, Forming the Collection of the Late George McCulloch, Esq., Winter Exhibition, 40th Year, London: William Clowes and Sons, Limited, Printers to the Royal Academy, 1909, page 6, no. 5.
John R. Stomberg, The Hood Now: Art and Inquiry at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2019, p. 125, ill. plate no. 56.
Jenny Reynaerts, Mirorr of Reality: 19th-Century Painting in the Netherlands, Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum in association with Mercatorfonds, 2019, p. 264, ill. p. 262, fig. 3.112
Ernest (Jean Joseph Ernest Theodore) Gambart (1814-1902) (artist's dealer), Nice, France, 1874; sold to Arthur Tooth & Sons, London, 1883; sold to George McCulloch (1848-1907), London, about 1883-1888; by descent to his widow, Mary Smith Mayger McCulloch Coutts-Michie (1857-1945), London, 1907-1913; Christie, Mason and Woods, London, May 29, 1913, lot 111; sold to Asher Wertheimer (1844-1918), London, 1913-1915; sold to Blakeslee Galleries Collection, New York, April 22, 1915, lot 227; sold to Captain Joseph Raphael De Lamar (1843-1918), New York; Arthur M. Loew (1897-1977), New York, New York; given to present collection, 1961.
V. Swanson, 1990, no. 164.
This record is part of an active database that includes information from historic documentation that may not have been recently reviewed. Information may be inaccurate or incomplete. We also acknowledge some language and imagery may be offensive, violent, or discriminatory. These records reflect the institution’s history or the views of artists or scholars, past and present. Our collections research is ongoing.
We welcome questions, feedback, and suggestions for improvement. Please contact us at: Hood.Collections@dartmouth.edu