Alma-Tadema – a footnote

Alma-Tadema – a footnote

 

Johnstone, Jupe & Co., London
“Jupe’s Patent” Extending Dining Table
c. 1839
Mahogany
Apter–Fredericks Ltd., London

There is an exhibition at the Clark Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts entitled “Orchestrating Elegance: Alma-Tadema and the Marquand Music Room.” The American industrialist Henry Gurdon Marquand asked Alma-Tadema in 1884 to design a Music Room for his Madison Avenue mansion in New York. The favoured style was Greco-Pompeian and Alma-Tadema skill’s as a designer were well displayed in the room. The furniture he designed, including a grand piano with matching stools, were made in London by Johnstone, Norman & Co.

Johnstone, Jupe & Co., London
“Jupe’s Patent” Extending Dining Table
c. 1839
Mahogany
Apter–Fredericks Ltd., London

The celebrated London antique furniture firm Apter-Fredericks were approached by the Clark’s decorative arts curator and acting senior curator Kathleen Morris who asked whether they had an example of the expanding telescoping patented dining tables which Johnstone’s, in their various business partnerships, were renowned for making? Fortunately Apter -Fredericks were able to help and the table is on loan until the exhibition ends on 4th September 2017.

Johnstone, Jupe & Co., London
“Jupe’s Patent” Extending Dining Table
c. 1839
Mahogany
Apter–Fredericks Ltd., London

 

clarkart.edu

https://apter-fredericks.com/

 

Alma-Tadema!

Alma-Tadema: At Home In Antiquity, Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Rd, London, W14,, until 29th October 2017

I am grateful to John Kirkwood for visiting and writing about this exhibition:

 

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, The Finding of Moses, 1904. © Private Collection

Unbelievably for such a well-known artist, this is the first exhibition of the works of Alma-Tadema in London since 1913. He was a great friend of Lord Leighton and will of course have visited the House which makes the placing of the exhibition here most fitting.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,
Self-Portrait of Lourens Alma Tadema, 1852.
© Fries Museum, Collection Royal Frisian Society

A visit to Pompeii on his honeymoon inspired Alma-Tadema to depict carefully researched scenes of life in Ancient Rome which reminded me very much of scenes from the very popular spectacular epic films of the fifties and sixties such as Quo Vadis?, The Ten Commandments, The Fall of the Roman Empire and Ben-Hur and apparently Alma-Tadema had been an inspiration for some of the filmmakers even as late as Gladiator. Indeed many of his paintings are amazingly in the CinemaScope ratio!

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,
A Pyrrhic Dance, 1869.
© Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London

There are photographs, artefacts and drawings and paintings from his two houses, one close to the Regent’s Canal and the other in Grove End Road whose exterior remains largely unchanged.  There is also a selection of the panels painted by Alma-Tadema’s artist friends including Lord Leighton which hung in Alma-Tadema’s house and which are reunited for this exhibition. The Studio will also house the portrait of Leopold Lowenstam a friend of Alma-Tadema which was rediscovered on the Antiques Roadshow in 2016 and is on public display for the first time.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,
Coign of Vantage, 1895.
© Ann and Gordon Getty

The exhibition is a wonderful journey through Alma-Tadema’s work displayed in a beautiful and atmospheric setting.

 

 

http://www.leightonhouse.co.uk