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Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema Wall Art

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Born in 1836) was born in the small village of Dronrijp, in Friesland, Netherlands. In 1838, his family moved to the town of Leeuwarden, where His father died when he was four, leaving him and his 4 siblings under the care of his mother. His mother had artistic leanings, and decided that her children’s teacher should incorporate drawing lessons into the children's education. Alma-Tadema received his first training in art from a local drawing master who was hired to teach his older half-brothers. Alma-Tadema was intended to become a lawyer; but at the age of fifteen in 1851 he suffered a mental and physical breakdown. He was diagnosed as consumptive and the doctor gave him only a short time to live. He was allowed to spend his remaining days at his leisure, painting and drawing. Left to his own devices, he never resigned to fate, he worked hard and regained his health and decided to pursue a career as an artist.

In 1852, Alma-Tadema studied early Flemish and Dutch art at The Royal Academy of Antwerp. He studied under Egide Charles and Gustave Wappers. During his 4 years as a registered student at the Academy, he won several awards that earned him a lot of respect. Before leaving school, he became an assistant to Louis (Lodewijk) Jan de Taeye, the painter and professor whose courses in historical costume and history he had greatly enjoyed at the Academy. Up to the mid-1860s Merovingian themes were his favorite subject. However these subjects did not have a wide international appeal, so Alma-Tadema switched to themes of life in ancient Egypt that were more popular.
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