Alma-Tadema's New Springtime

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) is shaping up to be the new Andy Warhol.

That's so if you consider recent auction results. Last November his "The Finding of Moses" sold for $35,922,500 and more recently "The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra: 41 B.C." went for $29,22,500. Not bad for a once-forgotten artist whose paintings were selling for hundreds 50 or 60 years ago.

The Finding of Moses - 1904

The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra: 41 B.C. - 1885

The link above is to a lengthy Wikipedia entry. Plus there are books about Tadema, so I won't dwell on his career other than to mention that he combined great talent, research skills and a not-dour personality to reach great popularity in his lifetime -- a popularity that has been re-emerging since the 1960s.

One popular painting that's accessible to many Americans is "Spring" -- a star of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It's large (80 x 179.1 cm / 31.5 in. x 5 ft. 10.5 in.) containing a jumble of figures whose faces (if memory serves) are only about two or three cm. high.

To celebrate Tadema's newfound stature, below is Spring along with a few detail photos I took a while ago. You can try clicking to enlarge them, but the results will be somewhat fuzzy because those enlargements are much bigger than the original art. All the images pictured here can be enlarged.


Spring - 1894

A slightly closer version of the preceding detail.