ⓘ Anna Alma-Tadema was a British artist and suffragette. Alma-Tadema primarily worked with drawings and paintings, creating many portraits and representations of ..


ⓘ Anna Alma-Tadema

Anna Alma-Tadema was a British artist and suffragette. Alma-Tadema primarily worked with drawings and paintings, creating many portraits and representations of interior scenes, flowers and buildings. She was influenced by her father, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and showed her works at exhibitions with him and her step-mother, Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema. Her work was shown at national exhibitions, including the Royal Academy of Arts and the 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Anna Alma-Tadema was recognized for her achievements as an artist at the 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the 1889 Paris Exhibition.


1. Early life

Anna Alma-Tadema was the second daughter of Dutch painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and his French wife, Marie-Pauline Gressin de Boisgirard who lived in Brussels. Her older sister, Laurence, was born in 1864. The girls mother died in 1869. Lawrence and his daughters then moved to England. Her father married for the second time to Laura Epps in 1871, when Anna was four years old.

Anna Alma-Tadema was raised in London with her family. Laurence received her education at home and it is believed that Anna was home-schooled as well. Anna Alma-Tadema appears at least twice in paintings by her father. In 1873, she and her sister were depicted in This is Our Corner, and then in 1883, her father painted her portrait.

Annas mother, father and step-mother were painters, and as a result, she was raised in a very artistic household. Lawrence was inspired by words from antiquity and developed a style that was emulated by Laura, Anna and other artists. Once he died, the popularity of his works and style waned for about six decades. Annas sister, Laurence, was a poet, novelist, critic, playwright, and short story author.


2. Work as an artist

Alma-Tadema was described by biographer Helen Zimmern as a "delicate, dainty artist who has inherited so much of her fathers power for reproducing detail." During her time as an artist, Anna Alma-Tadema created several portraits, representations of flowers, as well as watercolor depictions of house interiors and buildings. One such example of Alma-Tademas portraits is Miss Tessa Gosse. This and other works, such as The Misty Valley and The Gold Room, were shown at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Anna Alma-Tadema made watercolours of the interior of the Alma-Tadema family house, Townshend House in Tichfield Terrace, near Regents Park in London. The family home was extravagantly decorated by her father to resemble a Roman villa. The Drawing Room, which Alma-Tadema painted when she as a teenager, was exhibited in 1893 at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Additionally, in 1885 Alma-Tadema painted The Gold Room, which also represented the interior of the family home.

Alma-Tadema exhibited her works in England for approximately forty years, between 1885 and 1928. Alma-Tadema showed fifteen works at the Royal Academy between 1885 and 1928, including The Gold Room, Miss Tessa Gosse, The Misty Valley, and The Idlers Harvest. Although she resided in London, Anna Alma-Tadema also exhibited works abroad. In 1889, she won a medal at an exhibition in Paris. Additionally, Anna, her father Lawrence, and her stepmother Laura all exhibited and won prizes at the Worlds Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893.

Anna Alma-Tademas works continue to be exhibited today. For example, the artists works were included within the April 2011 Victoria and Albert Museums exhibition, The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860–1900 in London.


3. Personal life

Alma-Tadema was committed to womens suffrage and signed the Some Supporters of the Womens Suffrage Movement in 1897. Neither Anna Alma-Tadema nor her sister married. They were poor and did not have successful careers in their later years.