Giorgio de Chirico
Giorgio de Chirico was an Italian artist and writer born in Greece. In the years before World War I, he founded the scuola metafisica art movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists, his most well-known works feature Roman arcades, long shadows, mannequins and illogical perspective. His imagery reflects his affinity for the philosophy of Nietzsche and for the mythology of his birthplace. After 1919, he became a critic of modern art, studied traditional painting techniques, worked in a neoclassical or neo-Baroque style, while revisiting the metaphysical themes of his earlier work. De Chirico was born in Greece, as the eldest son of Gemma Cervetto and Evaristo de Chirico, his mother was his father a Sicilian barone from a family of remote Greek origin. De Chirico's family was in Greece at the time of his birth because his father, was in charge of the construction of a railroad. Beginning in 1900, de Chirico studied drawing and painting at Athens Polytechnic—mainly under the guidance of the Greek painters Georgios Roilos and Georgios Jakobides.
After Evaristo de Chirico's death in 1905, the family relocated in 1906 to Germany, after first visiting Florence. De Chirico entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he studied under Gabriel von Hackl and Carl von Marr and read the writings of the philosophers Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer and Otto Weininger. There, he studied the works of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger; the style of his earliest paintings, such as The Dying Centaur, shows the influence of Böcklin. He spent six months in Milan. By 1910, he was beginning to paint in a simpler style of anonymous surfaces. At the beginning of 1910, he moved to Florence where he painted the first of his'Metaphysical Town Square' series, The Enigma of an Autumn Afternoon, after the revelation he felt in Piazza Santa Croce, he painted The Enigma of the Oracle while in Florence. In July 1911 he spent a few days in Turin on his way to Paris. De Chirico was profoundly moved by what he called the'metaphysical aspect' of Turin the architecture of its archways and piazzas.
The paintings de Chirico produced between 1909 and 1919, his metaphysical period, are characterized by haunted, brooding moods evoked by their images. At the start of this period, his subjects were motionless cityscapes inspired by the bright daylight of Mediterranean cities, but he turned his attention to studies of cluttered storerooms, sometimes inhabited by mannequin-like hybrid figures. De Chirico's conception of Metaphysical art was influenced by his reading of Nietzsche, whose style of writing fascinated de Chirico with its suggestions of unseen auguries beneath the appearance of things. De Chirico found inspiration in the unexpected sensations that familiar places or things sometimes produced in him: In a manuscript of 1909 he wrote of the "host of strange and solitary things that can be translated into painting... What is required above all is a pronounced sensitivity." Metaphysical art combined everyday reality with mythology, evoked inexplicable moods of nostalgia, tense expectation, estrangement.
The picture space featured illogical and drastically receding perspectives. Among de Chirico's most frequent motifs were arcades, of which he wrote: "The Roman arcade is fate... its voice speaks in riddles which are filled with a peculiarly Roman poetry". De Chirico moved to Paris in July 1911. Through his brother he met Pierre Laprade, a member of the jury at the Salon d'Automne, where he exhibited three of his works: Enigma of the Oracle, Enigma of an Afternoon and Self-Portrait. During 1913 he exhibited paintings at the Salon des Indépendants and Salon d’Automne, his time in Paris resulted in the production of Chirico's Ariadne. In 1914, through Apollinaire, he met the art dealer Paul Guillaume, with whom he signed a contract for his artistic output. At the outbreak of World War I, he returned to Italy. Upon his arrival in May 1915, he enlisted in the army, but he was considered unfit for work and assigned to the hospital at Ferrara; the shop windows of that town inspired a series of paintings that feature biscuits and geometric constructions in indoor settings.
In Ferrara he met with Carlo Carrà and together they founded the pittura metafisica movement. He continued to paint, in 1918, he transferred to Rome. Starting from 1918, his work was exhibited extensively in Europe. In November 1919, de Chirico published an article in Valori plastici entitled "The Return of Craftsmanship", in which he advocated a return to traditional methods and iconography; this article heralded an abrupt change in his artistic orientation, as he adopted a classicizing manner inspired by such old masters as Raphael and Signorelli, became part of the post-war return to order in the arts. He became an outspoken opponent of modern art. In the early 1920s, the Surrealist writer André Breton discovered one of de Chirico's metaphysical paintings on display in Guillaume's Paris gallery, was enthralled. Numerous young artists who were affected by de Chirico's imagery became the core of the Paris Surrealist group centered around Breton. In 1924 de Chirico visited Paris and was accepted into the group, although the surrealists were critical of his post-metaphysical work.
De Chirico met and married his first wife, the Russian ball
Deconstructivism is a movement of postmodern architecture which appeared in the 1980s, which gives the impression of the fragmentation of the constructed building. It is characterized by an absence of continuity, or symmetry, its name comes from the idea of "Deconstruction", a form of semiotic analysis developed by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. Architects whose work is described as deconstructionism include Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, Bernard Tschumi, Coop Himmelbau. Besides fragmentation, Deconstructivism manipulates the structure's surface skin and creates by non-rectilinear shapes which appear to distort and dislocate elements of architecture; the finished visual appearance is characterized by controlled chaos. Deconstructivism came to public notice with the 1982 Parc de la Villette architectural design competition, in particular the entry from Jacques Derrida and Peter Eisenman and the winning entry by Bernard Tschumi, as well as the Museum of Modern Art’s 1988 Deconstructivist Architecture exhibition in New York, organized by Philip Johnson and Mark Wigley.
Tschumi stated that calling the work of these architects a "movement" or a new "style" was out of context and showed a lack of understanding of their ideas, believed that Deconstructivism was a move against the practice of Postmodernism, which he said involved "making doric temple forms out of plywood". Other influential exhibitions include the 1989 opening of the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, designed by Peter Eisenman; the New York exhibition has featured works by Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind, Rem Koolhaas, Peter Eisenman, Zaha Hadid, Coop Himmelbau, Bernard Tschumi. Since their exhibitions, some architects associated with Deconstructivism have distanced themselves from it; the term "Deconstructivism" in contemporary architecture is opposed to the ordered rationality of Modernism and Postmodernism. Though postmodernist and nascent deconstructivist architects both published in the journal Oppositions, that journal's contents mark a decisive break between the two movements. Deconstructivism took a confrontational stance to architectural history, wanting to "disassemble" architecture.
While postmodernism returned to embrace the historical references that modernism had shunned ironically, deconstructivism rejected the postmodern acceptance of such references, as well as the idea of ornament as an after-thought or decoration. In addition to Oppositions, a defining text for both deconstructivism and postmodernism was Robert Venturi's Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, it argues against the purity and simplicity of modernism. With its publication and rationalism, the two main branches of modernism, were overturned as paradigms; the reading of the postmodernist Venturi was that ornament and historical allusion added a richness to architecture that modernism had foregone. Some Postmodern architects endeavored to reapply ornament to economical and minimal buildings, described by Venturi as "the decorated shed." Rationalism of design was dismissed but the functionalism of the building was still somewhat intact. This is close to the thesis of Venturi's next major work, that signs and ornament can be applied to a pragmatic architecture, instill the philosophic complexities of semiology.
The deconstructivist reading of Complexity and Contradiction is quite different. The basic building was the subject of problematics and intricacies in deconstructivism, with no detachment for ornament. Rather than separating ornament and function, like postmodernists such as Venturi, the functional aspects of buildings were called into question. Geometry was to deconstructivists what ornament was to postmodernists, the subject of complication, this complication of geometry was in turn, applied to the functional and spatial aspects of deconstructivist buildings. One example of deconstructivist complexity is Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum in Weil-am-Rhein, which takes the typical unadorned white cube of modernist art galleries and deconstructs it, using geometries reminiscent of cubism and abstract expressionism; this subverts the functional aspects of modernist simplicity while taking modernism the international style, of which its white stucco skin is reminiscent, as a starting point. Another example of the deconstructivist reading of Complexity and Contradiction is Peter Eisenman's Wexner Center for the Arts.
The Wexner Center takes the archetypal form of the castle, which it imbues with complexity in a series of cuts and fragmentations. A three-dimensional grid, runs somewhat arbitrarily through the building; the grid, as a reference to modernism, of which it is an accoutrement, collides with the medieval antiquity of a castle. Some of the grid's columns intentionally don't reach the ground, hovering over stairways creating a sense of neurotic unease and contradicting the structural purpose of the column; the Wexner Center deconstructs the archetype of the castle and renders its spaces and structure with conflict and difference. Some Deconstructivist architects were influenced by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. Eisenman was a friend of Derrida, but so his approach to architectural design was developed long before he became a Deconstructivist. For him Deconstructivism should be considered an extension of his interest in radical formalism; some practitioners of deconstructivism were influenced by the formal experimentation and geometric imbalances of Russian constructivism.
There are additional references in deconst
Anton Ažbe was a Slovene realist painter and teacher of painting. Ažbe, crippled since birth and orphaned at the age of 8, learned painting as an apprentice to Janez Wolf and at the Academies in Vienna and Munich. At the age of 30 Ažbe founded his own school of painting in Munich that became a popular attraction for Eastern European students. Ažbe trained a whole generation of Russian painters. Ažbe's training methods were reused by Russian artists both at home and in emigration. Ažbe's own undisputed artistic legacy is limited to twenty-six graphic works, including classroom studies, most of them at the National Gallery of Slovenia, his long-planned masterpieces never materialized and, according to Peter Selz, he "never came into his own as an artist". His enigmatic personality blended together alcoholism, chain smoking, bitter loneliness, minimalistic simple living in private, eccentric behaviour in public. A public scarecrow and a bohemian socialite, Ažbe protected his personal secrets till the end, a mystery to his students and fellow teachers.
The public transformed the circumstances of his untimely death from cancer into an urban legend. Twins Alois and Anton Ažbe were born in a peasant family in the Carniolan village of Dolenčice near Škofja Loka in the Austrian Empire, their father died of familial tuberculosis at the age of 40. Mother lapsed into a severe mental distress and the boys were placed into foster care. By this time it was evident that while Alois developed Anton suffered serious congenital health problems: he lagged in physical growth, his legs were weak and his spine deformed, his legal guardian reasoned. After five years of living and working at a grocery store Ažbe ran away from Klagenfurt to Ljubljana. At some point in the late 1870s he met Janez Wolf, a Slovenian painter associated with the Nazarene movement who handled numerous church mural commissions. Little is known about Ažbe's experience with Wolf, apart from the facts that in 1880 Ažbe assisted Wolf with the frescoes of the Zagorje ob Savi church and, in 1882, with the facade of the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation in Ljubljana.
In the same year Wolf helped Ažbe with admission to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where Anton studied for two years. He was dissatisfied with outdated, uninspiring Viennese training and made passing grades. In 1884 he relocated to the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich a "liberal" and "modern" school as opposed to the conservative Viennese Academy. There he made a superb impression on his teachers Gabriel Hackl and Ludwig von Löfftz and earned a free scholarship. To make a living, Ažbe teamed up with Ferdo Vesel, selling classroom works and run-of-the-mill kitsch scenes to wholesale dealers. Half of Ažbe's surviving legacy dates back to the Munich Academy years. Wolf died in bitter poverty in 1884; the free-of-charge training should last no less than eight years. For this purpose, said Ažbe, Wolf entrusted Ažbe with the "secret" of his art, it is not clear. In 1892 Vesel and Rihard Jakopič offered Ažbe the informal job of examining and correcting the students' paintings; the seven clients paid Ažbe for fixing their homework.
Two months an inflow of new clients allowed Ažbe to rent his own premises, starting the Ažbe School. After a brief stay on Türkenstrasse the school relocated to its permanent base at 16, Georgenstrasse in Schwabing. Ažbe rented another building for the school classes and moved into his private workshop; the school was never short of students, with a normal complement reaching 80. The total number of Ažbe alumni stands at around 150. Some, notably Alexej von Jawlensky, Matej Sternen and Marianne von Werefkin attended the school for nearly a decade. Ažbe remained the sole instructor, except for a brief period in 1899–1900 when he hired Igor Grabar as an assistant. Long-established competitors, the Munich Academy and the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, recognized Ažbe school and recommended it as a preparatory or "refreshment" course. In 1904 Ažbe, a lifelong smoker, developed throat cancer and by the spring of 1905 he could hardly swallow food. Matej Sternen noted. Ažbe agreed to a surgery that passed without immediate complications, but on 5 or 6 August 1905 Ažbe died.
The public transformed a ordinary and expected event into a melodramatic urban legend. Leonhard Frank, who studied with Ažbe in 1904, reproduced the legend in Links, wo das Herz ist: "Nobody saw his paintings. Nobody knew if he painted a
Herbjørn Nilson Gaustå Herbjorn Gausta was an American artist, best known for his landscapes and scenes from rural settings. He left an early record of immigrant life in his portraits and paintings and helped establish a place for art in the culture of Norwegian-Americans. Gausta was born on the Gausta farm in Mæl parish in the municipality of Tinn in Telemark county, Norway. In 1867, Gausta immigrated to America with his parents and four sisters, settling on a farm near Harmony, Minnesota. Gausta entered a training program for parochial school teachers at Luther College in 1872, he left for Europe three years on a stipend provided by the community of Decorah, Iowa under the leadership of Ulrik Vilhelm Koren. Gausta studied at Knud Bergslien's Academy of Art in Oslo and attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, he taught at Luther College during the 1886-1887 academic year. He lived with the U. V. Koren family at the Washington Prairie parsonage. Subsequently, Gausta based his studio in Minneapolis, MN, where he supported himself principally by painting portraits of prominent Norwegian-Americans and producing altarpieces for Lutheran churches.
His landscapes and genre paintings were well-received those painted during his early years. There are 60 paintings by Gausta in the Fine Arts Collection of Luther College. Gausta was good friends with the entertainers Ethel Olson. Yust For Fun, a book published by the Olson Sisters in 1925, had two illustrations that he may have drawn. Gausta taught at the University of Minnesota until his death in 1924. Gausta, who never married, was buried in Harmony, alongside a 16-foot granite monument, erected in his honor in 1927. Nelson, O. N. History of the Scandinavians and Successful Scandinavians in the United States. Nelson, Marion Paintings by Minnesotans of Norwegian Background, 1870-1970 Jacobson, J. N. Herbjørn Gausta, Carl G. O. My Minneapolis. Pp. 170–173. Anderson, Kristin M. Norwegian-American Altar Painting, 1880-1920. Online book My Minneapolis: Nasjonalbiblioteket52. Herbjørn GaustaArticles "Bumping into a sliver of church history" Herbjørn Gausta: U. S. Department of StatePaintings Setting the Trap Farm Landscape Fine Arts Collection at Vesterheim Washington Prairie Parsonage: pp. 78–79.
Exhibition at U. S. Embassy in Oslo: pp. 26–27. Luther College Fine Arts Collection Selected portraits 1882 Jacob D. Jacobsen 1883 Diderrike Brandt 1885 Herman Amberg Preus 1885 Caroline Keyser PreusPhotos Herbjørn Gausta with Eleonora and Ethel Olson Herbjørn Gausta: Norwegian American Hall of FameDrawing by Herbjørn Gausta Aslaug in Telesoga 1919Drawings attributed to Herbjørn Gausta The Fire At Kniperud's in Yust For Fun 1925 The Old Sogning Woman in Yust For Fun 1925
Ignacy Aleksander Gierymski was a Polish painter of the late 19th century, the younger brother of Maksymilian Gierymski. He was a representative of realism as well as an important precursor of impressionism in Poland. Aleksander Gierymski completed Secondary State School nr III in Warsaw in 1867, in the same year commenced drawing studies in Warsaw. Between 1868 – 1872 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and graduated with a gold medal, he received. Between 1873-1874 he stayed in Italy in Rome. There he completed his first famous works: Roman Inn and Morra Game, which Gierymski brought to Warsaw in the beginning of 1875 and exhibited at Zachęta Gallery. Both paintings received the attention of critics. From late 1875 until 1879 the artist returned to Rome, where he worked to improve his work spending much time studying Italian paintings; the most important work of the Roman period was his painting In the Arbour. It was an approach to impressionism, preceded by extensive studies in this area.
In the painting In the Arbour we can see the scene of an 18th-century social gathering, which takes place in a gazebo filled with light from behind. Such scenes allowed him to play wich colours and light. Gierymski's work can be compared to contemporary French impressionists though he had not yet been in Paris and there was no evidence that he had seen their work; the greatest period for Gierymski was between years 1879 -1888. In this time he worked with a group of young positivist writers and painters, clustered around the periodical Wędrowiec. Responsible for art affairs in these magazine was Stanisław Witkiewicz, who took up a battle for Gierymski's public recognition. Paintings, which Gierymski made in this period, for example Jewish women selling oranges, his works were never understood and respected in contemporary Poland. As other unappreciated persons in his motherland, without livelihoods, he left Warsaw behind and went abroad in 1888. Since he was in Germany and France. Changed surroundings changed his works.
Away from his homeland he started to paint less personal subjects. He was painting landscapes, he was painting at night, which allowed him to paint objects under artificial light, such as. He came back to Poland in 1893 and stayed till 1895, in order to apply for a position at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow; this journey revived his interest in human subjects. As the result of this interest we can count for example the painting Peasant's Coffin. For the last years of his life he remained in Italy. From that latter period came works like Interior of Basilica of San Marco in Venice, Piazza del Popolo in Rome or outlooks of Verona, his bitter disappointments in life are revealed on his self-portrait painted a year prior to his death. He looked at the world despite his hot-temper. Tragically, the last years of his life were spent in a mental hospital, his works represented realism, like Courbet’s, he wasn’t afraid to represent all matters of life, including the lives of humble people. Gierymski died between 6-8 of March 1901 in Rome in a mental hospital on Via della Lungara Street.
He was buried at the Campo Verano Cemetery in Rome on 10 March 1901. Jewish women selling lemons, Silesian Museum, Poland Jewess with Oranges, National Museum in Warsaw In the Arbour, The National Museum in Warsaw Powiśle, National Museum in Kraków, Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art at Sukiennice Feast of Trumpets I, The National Museum in Warsaw Sandblasters, The National Museum in Warsaw Wittelsbach Square in Munich at night, The National Museum in Warsaw Twilight over Seine, The National Museum in Kraków Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art at Sukiennice Peasant's Coffin, The National Museum in Warsaw A boy carrying a shaft, National Museum in Wrocław Lake on the sunset, private collection Stone Pine near Villa Borghese in Rome, The National Museum in Kraków Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art st Sukiennice The Sea, The National Museum in Warsaw List of Polish painters Works by or about Aleksander Gierymski at Internet Archive
A facade is one exterior side of a building the front. It is a foreign loan word from the French façade, which means "frontage" or "face". In architecture, the facade of a building is the most important aspect from a design standpoint, as it sets the tone for the rest of the building. From the engineering perspective of a building, the facade is of great importance due to its impact on energy efficiency. For historical facades, many local zoning regulations or other laws restrict or forbid their alteration; the word comes from the French foreign loan word façade, which in turn comes from the Italian facciata, from faccia meaning face from post-classical Latin facia. The earliest usage recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is 1656, it was quite common in the Georgian period for existing houses in English towns to be given a fashionable new facade. For example, in the city of Bath, The Bunch of Grapes in Westgate Street appears to be a Georgian building, but the appearance is only skin deep and some of the interior rooms still have Jacobean plasterwork ceilings.
This new construction has happened in other places: in Santiago de Compostela the 3-metres-deep Casa do Cabido was built to match the architectural order of the square, the main Churrigueresque facade of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, facing the Praza do Obradoiro, is encasing and concealing the older Portico of Glory. In modern highrise building, the exterior walls are suspended from the concrete floor slabs. Examples include precast concrete walls; the facade can at times be required to have a fire-resistance rating, for instance, if two buildings are close together, to lower the likelihood of fire spreading from one building to another. In general, the facade systems that are suspended or attached to the precast concrete slabs will be made from aluminium or stainless steel. In recent years more lavish materials such as titanium have sometimes been used, but due to their cost and susceptibility to panel edge staining these have not been popular. Whether rated or not, fire protection is always a design consideration.
The melting point of aluminium, 660 °C, is reached within minutes of the start of a fire. Firestops for such building joints can be qualified, too. Putting fire sprinkler systems on each floor has a profoundly positive effect on the fire safety of buildings with curtain walls; some building codes limit the percentage of window area in exterior walls. When the exterior wall is not rated, the perimeter slab edge becomes a junction where rated slabs are abutting an unrated wall. For rated walls, one may choose rated windows and fire doors, to maintain that wall's rating. On a film set and within most themed attractions, many of the buildings are only facades, which are far cheaper than actual buildings, not subject to building codes. In film sets, they are held up with supports from behind, sometimes have boxes for actors to step in and out of from the front if necessary for a scene. Within theme parks, they are decoration for the interior ride or attraction, based on a simple building design. Façades: Principles of Construction.
By Ulrich Knaack, Tillmann Klein, Marcel Bilow and Thomas Auer. Boston/Basel/Berlin: Birkhaüser-Verlag, 2007. ISBN 978-3-7643-7961-2 ISBN 978-3-7643-7962-9 Giving buildings an illusion of grandeur Facades of Casas Chorizo in Buenos Aires, Argentina Poole, Thomas. "Façade". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company; the article outlines the development of the facade in ecclesiastical architecture from the early Christian period to the Renaissance
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, was a Dutch painter of special British denizenship. Born in Dronrijp, the Netherlands, trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Belgium, he settled in England in 1870 and spent the rest of his life there. A classical-subject painter, he 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. Though admired during his lifetime for his draftsmanship and depictions of Classical antiquity, his work fell into disrepute after his death, only since the 1960s has it been re-evaluated for its importance within nineteenth-century British art. Lourens Alma Tadema was born on 8 January 1836 in the village of Dronrijp in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands; the surname Tadema is an old Frisian patronymic, meaning'son of Tade', while the names Lourens and Alma came from his godfather. He was the sixth child of Pieter Jiltes Tadema, the village notary, the third child of Hinke Dirks Brouwer.
His father had three sons from a previous marriage. His parents' first child died young, the second was Atje, Lourens' sister, for whom he had great affection; the Tadema family moved in 1838 to the nearby city of Leeuwarden, where Pieter's position as a notary would be more lucrative. His father died when Lourens was four, leaving his mother with five children: Lourens, his sister, three boys from his father's first marriage, his mother had artistic leanings, decided that drawing lessons should be incorporated into the children's education. He received his first art training with a local drawing master hired to teach his older half-brothers, it was intended. Diagnosed as consumptive and given only a short time to live, he was allowed to spend his remaining days at his leisure and painting. Left to his own devices he decided to pursue a career as an artist. In 1852 he entered the Royal Academy of Antwerp in Belgium where he studied early Dutch and Flemish art, under Gustaf Wappers. During Alma-Tadema's four years as a registered student at the Academy, he won several respectable awards.
Before leaving school, towards the end of 1855, he became assistant to the painter and professor Louis Jan de Taeye, whose courses in history and historical costume he had enjoyed at the Academy. Although de Taeye was not an outstanding painter, Alma-Tadema respected him and became his studio assistant, working with him for three years. De Taeye introduced him to books that influenced his desire to portray Merovingian subjects early in his career, he was encouraged to depict historical accuracy in his paintings, a trait for which the artist became known. Alma-Tadema left Taeye's studio in November 1858 returning to Leeuwarden before settling in Antwerp, where he began working with the painter Baron Jan August Hendrik Leys, whose studio was one of the most regarded in Belgium. Under his guidance Alma-Tadema painted his first major work: The Education of the children of Clovis; this painting created a sensation among critics and artists when it was exhibited that year at the Artistic Congress in Antwerp.
It is said to have laid the foundation of his reputation. Alma-Tadema related that although Leys thought the completed painting better than he had expected, he was critical of the treatment of marble, which he compared to cheese. Alma-Tadema took this criticism seriously, it led him to improve his technique and to become the world's foremost painter of marble and variegated granite. Despite any reproaches from his master, The Education of the Children of Clovis was honorably received by critics and artists alike and was purchased and subsequently given to King Leopold of Belgium. In 1860 he befriended the Anglo-Dutch Dommersen family of artists in Utrecht In 1862 he made pencil drawings of Mrs. Cornelia Dommershuizen and one of her sons Thomas Hendrik, whose brothers were the painters Pieter Cornelis Dommersen and Cornelis Christiaan Dommersen. Merovingian themes were the painter's favourite subject up to the mid-1860s, it is in this series that we find the artist moved by the deepest feeling and the strongest spirit of romance.
However Merovingian subjects did not have a wide international appeal, so he switched to themes of life in ancient Egypt that were more popular. On these scenes of Frankish and Egyptian life Alma-Tadema spent much research. In 1862 Alma-Tadema left Leys's studio and started his own career, establishing himself as a significant classical-subject European artist. 1863 was to alter the course of Alma-Tadema's personal and professional life: on 3 January his invalid mother died, on 24 September he was married, in Antwerp City Hall, to Marie-Pauline Gressin Dumoulin, the daughter of Eugène Gressin Dumoulin, a French journalist living near Brussels. Nothing is known of their meeting and little of Pauline herself, as Alma-Tadema never spoke about her after her death in 1869, her image appears in a number of oils, though he painted her portrait only three times, the most notable appearing in My studio. The couple had three children, their eldest and only son lived only a few months dying of smallpox.
Their two daughters and Anna, both had artistic leanings: the former in literature, the latter in art. Neither would marry. Alma-Tadema and his wife spent their honeymoon in Florence, Rome and Pompeii. This, his first visit to Italy, developed his interest in depicting t