This scene is set in the Stabian baths at Pompeii. In the foreground two women are bathing with figures undressing in the background, amongst a luxurious setting with marble floor and walls.
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
A Favourite Custom
60 x 45.1 cm
Oil on wood
Date of work
Original: Oil on wood 60 x 45.1 cm ® Tate, London
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a painter of Dutch birth. He studied at Antwerp Academy in 1852, where he developed a taste for historical themes. In 1863 he travelled to Italy, where his exploration of Pompeii turned his attention from the Dark Ages to the Ancient World. Thereafter, a progressive lightening of his palette softened the darker colours of his earlier work and introduced a new luminosity to paintings. During the 1870s and 1880s Alma-Tadema rose to professional and social prominence in the Victorian art world and by 1873 he was a member of the Old Water-Colour Society.