SIR LAWRENCE ALMA-TADEMA, O.M., R.A. AND STUDIO
1836 - 1912
signed with initials u.r.: E.A.T.
oil on panel
34.5 by 21.5cm., 13½ by 8½in.
The panel is slightly bowed. There are some areas of craquelure, notably a number of horizontal lines running the length of the board, with an area of associated paint lifting to the left of the figure's arm and what appears to be related areas of old restoration which have discoloured. There are frame abrasions to the edges and scattered specks of surface dirt.
Under ultraviolet light there are areas of retouching as mentioned above to the left of the figure's arm; also to the figure's hand; a few minor specks of retouching to the figure's cheek and forehead; some further flecked retouchings in the background which are obscured by an opaque varnish.
Held under glass in a decorative, gilt tabernacle frame.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
J.A. Cooling Gallery, London;
Ruby Sophia Rich Shalit (1888-1988) and thence by descent until 2018;
Christie's, London, 11 July 2018, lot 91, where purchased by Stan Battat
The present picture probably depicts the artist’s wife Laura, in a languid and intimate pose which is suggestive of tenderness and closeness with a book resting against her breast as though she has been interrupted from her reading - this is reminiscent of a similar picture of Laura, reading the Graphic, titled Interrupted (London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham). It has been suggested that this picture may have been unfinished by Alma-Tadema and taken-up by another artist, perhaps his daughter Anna.