Spring

Object Details

Title:

Spring

Artist/Maker(s):

Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Dutch, 1836 - 1912)

Culture:

Dutch

Date:

1894

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

178.4 x 80.3 cm (70 1/4 x 31 5/8 in.)

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A procession of women and children descending marble stairs carry and wear brightly colored flowers. Cheering spectators fill the windows and roof of a classical building. Lawrence Alma Tadema here represented the Victorian custom of sending children into the country to collect flowers on the morning of May 1, or 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.

Alma Tadema's 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. He said:
Now if you want to know what those Greeks and Romans looked like, whom you make your masters in language and thought, come to me. For I can show not only what I think but what I know.

Alma Tadema's paintings also enjoyed popularity later, when his large panoramic depictions of Greek and Roman life caught the attention of Hollywood. Certain scenes in Cecil B. De Mille's film Cleopatra (1934) were inspired by the painting Spring.

Provenance
1895 - 1900

Robert von Mendelssohn, 1857 - 1917 (Berlin, Germany), sold to Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., 1900.

1900 - 1901

Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London, England), sold to Charles Tyson Yerkes, 1901.

1901 - 1905

Charles Tyson Yerkes, 1837 - 1905 (Chicago, Illinois; New York, New York), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1905 - 1910

Estate of Charles Tyson Yerkes, 1837 - 1905 [sold, Yerkes sale, American Art Association, New York, April 5, 1910, lot 37, to Henry Reinhardt Galleries.]

1910 - 1912

Henry Reinhardt Galleries (Chicago, Illinois), sold to Thomas Frederick Cole, 1912.

1912 -

Thomas Frederick Cole, 1862 - 1939 (Duluth, Minnesota; New York, New York; possibly Pasadena, California)

- 1945

Edwin H. Fricke, 1889 - 1961 (Calistoga, California) [sold, Fricke sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, March 15, 1945, lot 35, through Lewis A. Stone to Mrs. Edward Lane.]

1945

Mrs. Edward Lane

1945 - 1956

Hulett C. Merritt, 1872 - 1956 (Pasadena, California), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1956 - 1956

Estate of Hulett C. Merritt, 1872 - 1956 [sold, Merritt sale, Ames Art Galleries, Beverly Hills, June 3, 1956, lot 205, to Victor Emmanuel Wenzel von Metternich.]

1957 -

Victor Emmanuel Wenzel von Metternich (La Cañada, California), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

- 1972

Estate of Victor Emmanuel Wenzel von Metternich [sold, Metternich sale, Sotheby's, Los Angeles, February 28, 1972, lot 27, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Exhibitions
Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts. MDCCCXCV. The One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh (1895) (Cat. 262)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), 1895
Grosse Berliner Kunst-Ausstellung (May 7 to September 17, 1899) (Cat. 9)
  • Haupt-Ausstellungs-Gebäude, (Berlin), May 7 to September 17, 1899
Exposition internationale universelle de 1900 (April 15 to November 12, 1900) (Cat. 9)
  • Exposition universelle de 1900, (Paris), April 15 to November 12, 1900
Inaugural Exhibition (January 17 to February 12, 1912) (Cat. 159)
  • Toledo Museum of Art, (Toledo), January 17 to February 12, 1912
Selected Works of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and the Auburn Permanent Collection (April 11 to April 30, 1976) (Cat. 7)
  • Auburn University, (Auburn), April 11 to April 30, 1976
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, O.M., R.A., 1836-1912 (July 3 to September 13, 1976) (Cat. 19)
  • Mappin Art Gallery, (Sheffield), July 3 to August 8, 1976
  • Laing Art Gallery, (Newcastle), August 21 to September 13, 1976
Picturing the Ancient World (May 4 to August 30, 1993) (no cat.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), May 4 to August 30, 1993
Related Media
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