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Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, by Sydney Prior Hall, circa 1895 -NPG 4388 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

by Sydney Prior Hall
Pencil on paper, circa 1895
9 1/8 in. x 7 1/4 in. (231 mm x 184 mm)
NPG 4388

Inscriptionback to top

Inscr. lower centre: ‘S.P.H’.

This portraitback to top

Although reversed in pose, this has been identified as a study for NPG 4404, showing Arthur Hacker silhouetting Alma-Tadema for the frieze on the wall of the St John’s Wood Arts Club room, after the inaugural supper on 30 January 1895. [1] This would have been a less formal occasion than those depicted in other group portraits (see NPG 1833 and NPG 2820) – a convivial gathering of fellow-artists among whom the sitter was a popular as well as eminent figure.

The drawing was originally framed together with studies of Hacker (NPG 4389) and John Collier (NPG 4390). Now laid down, it has suffered damage in the past. Torn right across the head, it has been stuck back together, with more tears along the edges of the paper, and marks of discolouration from previous framing.

Sydney Prior Hall was a leading illustrative journalist who worked for the Graphic from its foundation in 1869 (see NPG D1393). The National Portrait Gallery collection contains over 140 portrait sketches by him of political, legal and artistic figures, plus two royal portrait groups.

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) See the finished woodcut illustration and text, Graphic, vol.51, 23 Feb. 1895, p.212.

Physical descriptionback to top

Head-and-shoulders, profil perdu to left, eye appears closed behind eyeglass.

Conservationback to top

Conserved, 1983.

Provenanceback to top

St John’s Wood Art Club, whence purchased 1964.

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