We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

We plan to reopen on Tuesday, 18 May! Find out more.

Laurence Alma Tadema, R.A. - A Sketch Of His Life And Work. With A Portrait, An Autograph, And Twenty-Two Illustrations.

RA Collection: Book

Record number



London:: Berlin Photographic Company, 133, New Bond Street,, 1895.

Physical Description

[2], 21, [1] p., [23] pl. (incl. frontis. port.); 474 mm.

General Note

The plates carry no numbers but are assigned numbers in 'List Of Illustrations' and on the plate-guards.


[Unnumbered leaf with note on print-run, half-t., frontis. (= pl. [I]), t.p.] - List Of Illustrations - [Divisional title p., 'Laurence Alma Tadema, R.A. A Sketch Of His Life And Work. Edited By F.G. Stephens'] - Note (by F.G. Stephens) - [Text] - [Colophon] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

Most plates are unsigned, But the frontispiece is signed in pencil by L Alma Tadema. The name of L Alma Tadema appears in the some prints / paintings.

Plates 17, 19-22 carry the imprint of the Photographische Gesellschaft and the date.

The text-printer is named on the title-page verso and in the colophon: 'Chiswick Press: - Charles Whittingham And Co. Tooks Court, Chancery Lane, London.'

On the verso of the half-title are printed the London, Berlin, New York and Paris addresses of the Berlin Photographic Company.


V.G. Swanson, The Biography and Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1990).

A study of F.G. Stephens was D.S. Macleod, 'F.G. Stephens Pre-Raphaelite critic and art historian', in Burlington Magazine,128 (1986), p.398-406.

Summary Note

A publication-date appears on some plates - of 1892 (pl. 17), 1893 (pl. 19, 21) or 1894 (pl. 20, 22).

The half-title reads: 'Laurence Alma Tadema, R.A. A Sketch Of His Life And Work. Edited By F.G. Stephens.'

The 'Autograph' mentioned on the title page appears on the frontispiece, which is signed in pencil, 'L Alma Tadema'.

The plates are captioned on the plate-guards and in the List Of Illustrations. They show: 1. (front.) Alma Tadema in his studio, from a photograph taken in 1895; 2. Audience at Agrippa's (1875); 3. Sculptor's model (1877); 4. Hearty welcome (1878); 5. George Henschel (1879); 6. Felix & Mrs. Semon (1880); 7. Ave Caesar Io Saturnalia (1880); 8. Sappho (1880); 9. Hans Richter (1881); 10. Idyl (1882); 11. Ludwig Barnay as Mark Antony (1882); 12. Antony and Cleopatra (1883); 13. My daughter Anna (1883); 14. Old story (watercolor) (1883); 15. Reading from Homer (1885); 16. Shrine of Venus (1888); 17. Earthly Paradise (1891); 18. Love's votaries (1891); 19. Paderewski (1892); 20. In my studio (1893); 21. Unconscious rivals (1893); 22. Spring (1894); 23. Head (drawing) (1894). All are photogravures. The List Of Illustrations states not only the title but also the measurements, date of execution, then ownership and place of first exhibition (most often the Royal Academy, London).

Printed on the verso of the unpaginated preliminary leaf is a note on the print-run: 'This is to certify that the Édition de luxe of this Work consists of Four Hundred copies on Japanese vellum. This is No.' [inscribed in ink, '257'.]


The verso of the unpaginated preliminary leaf is inscribed in ink, 'Presented to the Royal Academy by L Alma Tadema 4 [illegible] 96'.

Binding Note

19th-century blue watered cloth, upper and lower covers with silver-stamped decoartions, upper cover lettered 'Selected · Works · Of · L · Alma · Tadema · R· A· '; spine lettered 'Selected : Works : Of : L : Alma : Tadema : R : A:'.

Name as Subject


Romans - Rome - History
Celebrities - Portraits - Great Britain - London - 19th century
Paintings - Painters - Artists - Great Britain - 19th century
Biography - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Photogravures - Photomechanical prints - Autographs - Great Britain - 19th century


Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema RA, source artist, previous owner, donor
Frederic George Stephens, editor
Charles Whittingham, printer
Berlin Photographic Company, publisher, photographic printer
Chiswick Press (London), printer