digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program
Born the Netherlands, Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) was trained at the Academy of Antwerp, Belgium, he settled in England in 1870 and spent the rest of his life there. A classical-subject painter, he was admired for his superb draftsmanship and became famous for his depictions of the luxury and decadence of the Roman Empire, with languorous figures set in fabulous marbled interiors or against a backdrop of dazzling blue Mediterranean sea and sky. His curiosity about the ancient world was insatiable, and the knowledge he acquired was incorporated into over three hundred paintings of ancient archeological and architectural design.
In this painting, Spring, a procession of women and children descend marble stairs carrying and wearing brightly coloured flowers. Cheering spectators fill the windows and roof of a classical building. Alma-Tadema here represented the Victorian custom of sending children into the country to collect flowers on the morning of May Day, but placed the scene in ancient Rome. In this way, he suggested the festival's great antiquity through architectural details, dress, sculpture, and even the musical instruments based on Roman originals.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-766: card size 6" x 6" (150mm x 150mm)