Under the Roof Of Blue Ionian Weather by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema is in private collection. The size of the work is 55 x 121 cm and is made of oil on panel.
The picture is a good example of the blond tonality that is so characteristic of Alma-Tadema’s later work. To help him achieve this effect, he had the apsidal end of his studio lined with aluminium to create a diffused and silvery light. This was at 17 (now 44) Grove End Road, St John’s Wood, the house previously owned by James Tissot that Alma-Tadema took over in 1885, remodelled extensively and decorated in lavish style, turning it into one of the sights of London.
When it appeared at the Royal Academy in 1901, the picture was hung in Room III as a pendant to E.J. Poynter’s Helena and Hermia, now in the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Poynter had been President since 1896, and he and Alma-Tadema were the great surviving exponents of High Victorian classicism. The pictures also had much in common, Helena and Hermia, which shows the two heroines of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a story set in Athens, portraying as sweet and idealised a vision of the ancient world as the Alma-Tadema. In both pictures the figures lead dolce far niente lives, sitting or reclining on marble benches in glorious sunshine while exotic shrubs provide much-needed shade and the bluest of blue seas are glimpsed in the distance… Discover more in Christie’s
The Artist: Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 – 1912) was a Dutch painter of special British denizenship. Born in Dronrijp, the Netherlands. He trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Belgium. He settled in England in 1870 and spent the rest of his life there. A classical-subject painter, he became famous for his depictions of the luxury and decadence of the Roman Empire, with languorous figures set in fabulous marbled interiors or against a backdrop of dazzling blue Mediterranean Sea and sky.
Though admired during his lifetime for his draftsmanship and depictions of Classical antiquity. His works fell into disrepute after his death, and only since the 1960s has it been re-evaluated for its importance within nineteenth-century British art… Read more