Lawrence Alma Tadema, an immigrant painter in London

Today, we’ll take a look at the life of Lawrence Alma Tadema, a painter who rose to prominence in the United Kingdom after only a few years as the most sought-after and well-paid painter in the country.

Born in the Netherlands in 1836 From Paris, Alma-Tadema relocated to London in 1870, where he remained for the remainder of his life. Alma-Tadema painted in the classical style, and his favourite subject was the collapse of the Roman Empire, which he depicted in a number of paintings.

Aside from escaping the Franco-Prussian war, he went to London for love. He had fallen in love with Laura Epps, a girl of 17 years who he had met the year before at the house of painter Ford Madox Brown in London, and they were together for the rest of his life.

Lawrence embarked on his journey to London with his two children from his previous marriage, who had died of smallpox a few years before, and his sister. Alma-Tadema married Laura the next year, and the couple has been together for the most of their life.


As a result of his ability to capture the preferences of the period, his work became extremely famous in Victorian circles, and it was sometimes stated that his paintings depicted ‘Victorians in togas’. He swiftly rose to the position of best paid artist due to his ability to capture the tastes of the time.

In 1899, he was made a Knight of the Order of the British Empire. It was three years after the death of his loving wife Laura that he passed away in 1912.

Following his death, his paintings, as well as a great deal of other work that had been admired throughout the Victorian era, fell out of favour in the following years. 

Not everyone may appreciate this slightly outdated art, but keep in mind that Lawrence Alma Tadema was a well-known artist in his day. In recent years, he has been re-evaluated in light of the significance he played in the development of British painting in the 1800s and the development of Romanticism.

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