Sir Lawrence ALMA-TADEMA (Dronrijp 1836 - Wiesbaden 1912)

Three Drapery Studies

Pencil and red chalk, with touches of white chalk, on buff paper. Inscribed (by the artist’s daughter Anna) with the artist’s initials LAT at the centre right. 275 x 341 mm. (10 7/8 x 13 3/8 in.)


Part of a group of studies of drapery, male nudes and Egyptian costumes by Alma-Tadema, all apparently taken from an early sketchbook, have been dated to c.1857-1858, when the young artist was living and working in Antwerp as a studio assistant to Louis de Taeye. A number of the drawings in this group of drapery studies are clearly inscribed as preparatory studies for a painting called The Contrary Oracle, which either no longer exists, or never progressed beyond a preliminary stage. Almost nothing is known of this now-lost painting, although two pencil sketches for the composition – a large sheet showing a group of figures within a great hall, and another drawing, inscribed ‘for The contrary oracle’, depicting part of the architectural background - were part of the same sketchbook and shared the same Gosse provenance as the present group of drawings.

The studio of the artist
The artist’s brother-in-law, Sir Edmund William Gosse, London
By descent in the Gosse family until the 1920s or 1930s
Acquired by a private collector
Thence by descent.

Sir Lawrence ALMA-TADEMA

Three Drapery Studies


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