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A declaration

by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

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A declaration - Description

The watercolor A Declaration was one of six works painted by Victorian artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema during the winter and spring of the year 1879. This painting, which hangs in the British Museum of London, is true to Alma-Tadema’s style of painting classical themes. As beautiful as the water is behind the seated pair on the marble bench, the two are arranged in such a way so as to keep the eye of the viewer fixated on them. This takes away the attention from the sea where relatively little is happening and instead puts the two people directly in the spotlight. It is for this reason that the woman is not seated closer to the man. His body weight is leaning towards her, and she is positioned at an angle which leads the eye of the observer back towards them where it is trapped by the floor and descending staircase. Equally as impressive is Alma-Tadema’s ability to render classical architecture in his favor, constructing the bench as he needs to for the sake of keeping the viewer’s eye where it needs to be. In the middle ground, on the second bench there is a sharp contrast between warm and light colors, with the dark cloaked man surrounded by tones of bright and muted white and blue. The use of orange in the female’s hair is used for the sake of making it “pop”, or stand out dramatically when placed against its opposite color, blue. The entire painting is governed by thin lines delicately held in place and given life through its guiding color. It is for this reason that this piece carries a whimsical mood of antiquity. Even the darkest tones cannot feel oppressive when placed around such a multitude of light coloring.

Painting Details

Artwork Name: A declaration

Original Artist: Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Medium: 100% Hand-painted on Canvas
Shipping Cost: FREE
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