Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Anna Alma-Tadema watercolor

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema's Library in Townshend House, London, Anna Alma-Tadema watercolor
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s Library in Townshend House, London, Anna Alma-Tadema.

On Google Cultural Institute: Art Project. Also available on Wikimedia Commons.

Watercolor, gouache, pen and ink, graphite on white paper. The original is in the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

Until I came across this piece on the Google Art Project, I didn’t even realize that Lawrence Alma-Tadema had a daughter who was an artist, let alone one so skilled as a watercolorist.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much else about her on the web. There is mention on The Beautiful Necessity of the inclusion of her work in the book Artistic Circles: Design and Decoration in the Aesthetic Movement by Charlotte Gere.


7 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: Anna Alma-Tadema watercolor”

  1. Anna was Alma Tadema’s second daughter, born in 1867. There is a painting by AT of her (aged seven) with her elder sister Laurense called “This is our corner” in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. It was painted, like Anna’s picture above, in the family’s London home “Townsend House”. She appears again in “The Sculpture Gallery” and “Sunny Days” from 1874.

    Anna later ( in the 1890s ) painted the Polish pianist Paderewski (as did her mother and father) in the Tadema’s later, more luxuriant accomodation at Casa Tadema in St. John’s Wood. It was she who accompanied Alma Tadema to the Kaiserhof spa in Wiesbaden, Germany where he died in 1912.

    Despite having begun a career as a painter, including exhibiting with some success, Anna never painted again after her father’s death. She died in 1943.

  2. And you have me again intrigued by all things Alma-Tadema, Charlie. Particularly those interiors he created, so beautifully recorded by the precocious Anna. And sadly not preserved, unlike the lovely Leighton House.

    1. I had seen this portrait of Anna Alma-Tadema, but I wasn’t aware of her career as an artist. Thanks for filling in.

  3. Thanks, Charley, for the nostalgic interior.
    On May 28, 1869, Tadema’s wife of six years died of smallpox (one of the deadliest diseases in history!….and very contageous. – Page 141) at the age of 32. Marie-Pauline Gressin Dumoulin was the daughter of a French journalist. And it was on their honeymoon in Italy in 1863 – his first visit there — that he had been inspired to paint the life of ancient Rome. He had painted her only a few times, as in My Studio (1867), and after her death, he never spoke of her again. She left him with two young children – daughters, Anna (age two) and Laurense (age five). His son had died of smallpox just four years earlier, in 1865. Grief-stricken, Tadema’s health began to suffer, and he did not paint again until that autumn. Tadema’s unmarried sister, Atje, had lived with him and Pauline; now she helped with the children and kept house for her brother at 29 Rue de la Limite.
    When Tadema’s doctors were unable to diagnose his medical problems, Gambart advised him to consult with English physician Sir Henry Thompson (1820 – 1904). Thompson*, who had been knighted two years ago, was a surgeon and professor at University College Hospital. Six years earlier, he had performed a successful operation on the King of Belgium, who suffered from kidney stones. In London, on December 26, Tadema attended a dance at the home of painter Ford Madox Brown (1821 — 1893) – and met Laura Theresa Epps (1852 — 1909). The daughter of a doctor, Laura was a seventeen-year-old redhead — tall, slim, elegant, educated, musical, and interested in art — and the 33-year old Lourens Tadema fell in love with her.

  4. This is a poem that Sir Lawrence’s eldest daughter wrote. I love it.
    Laurence Alma-Tadema
    If No One Ever Marries Me
    Year written: 1897
    This poem was published in ‘Realms of Unknown Kings’, 1897.

    If no-one ever marries me–
    And I don’t see why they should,
    For nurse says I am not pretty
    And I’m seldom very good–

    If no one ever marries me
    I shan’t mind very much;
    I shall buy a squirrel in a cage,
    And a little rabbit-hutch;

    I shall have a cottage near a wood,
    And a pony all my own,
    And a little lamb, quite clean and tame,
    That I can take to town;

    And when I’m getting really old,
    At twenty-eight or nine–
    I shall buy a little orphan girl
    And bring her up as mine.

  5. Fred Bennett Avatar
    Fred Bennett

    For another work by Anna Talmeda see Victorian Watercolours by Christopher Newall published by Phaidon.

    Plate 54 Eton College Chapel 1885

    1. Thanks, Fred.

      For the benefit of other readers, here is an Amazon link to Victorian Watercolors.