“The Roses of Heliogabalus” (detail) (1888) by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912).

Ninety-Four Degrees in the Shade (1876). Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Dutch, 1836-1912). Oil on canvas laid down on mahogany panel. Fitzwilliam Museum.

The scene shows a cornfield at Godstone, Surrey, with the donor, Sir Henry Thompson, at that date aged seventeen, lying in the foreground and reading a book, perhaps about butterflies.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
“My Sister Is Not In” (1879)
Oil on panel
Located in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Alma-Tadema was born in Friesland, Netherlands, but was trained in Belgium. After the death of his first wife in 1870, he moved to London where he developed a reputation for his seemingly accurate reconstructions of genre scenes set in ancient Rome. Here, a Roman maiden closes a curtain in an unconvincing attempt to conceal her sister from a suitor.