Lawrence Alma-Tadema and the Modern City of Ancient Rome

EF Prettejohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper argues that Alma-Tadema's representations of the ancient city of Rome can be seen as significant explorations of urban experience, parallel to the more familiar nineteenth-century representations of modern Paris. Alma-Tadema distinguishes clearly between the small-town environment of Pompeian subjects and the metropolitan environment of pictures set in the capital. Using techniques such as oblique viewpoints and edge cropping, Alma-Tadema presents the "shock" experience characteristic of the modern city in urban theory. The late nineteenth-century notion of the city's modernity thus provides a novel perspective on traditional fascination with Rome as the ultimate paradigm for the urban.
Translated title of the contributionLawrence Alma-Tadema and the Modern City of Ancient Rome
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115 - 129
Number of pages15
JournalArt Bulletin
Volume84 (1)
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002

Bibliographical note

Publisher: College Art Association


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