Property of a Distinguished Collector
SIR LAWRENCE ALMA-TADEMA, O.M., R.A.
1836 - 1912
signed and inscribed; L Alma Tadema OpCCCLXVII-
19.5cm., 14.5cm., 7¾ by 5¾in.
This watercolour is in excellent condition with no obvious condition issues. The paper is flat. The picture is ready to hang.
The picture is contained ina gilt moulded frame and under glass.
"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."
Given by the artist to Queen Alexandra on the occasion of her husband’s accession to the throne in 1901;
Sotheby’s, New York, 31 October 1985, lot 61 where purchased by the present owner
Williamstown, Sterling & Francine Clark Institute, Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, Cincinnati, Taft Museum and Memphis, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Empires Restored, Elysium Revisited – The Art of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1992, no.46
V.G. Swanson, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1977, p.141
Expectation depicts a corner of the artist’s beautiful house at Grove End Road, with its serpentine-marble walls and porphyry and gilt window-frames. The same setting had been painted by Tadema in Vain Courtship of 1900 (Sotheby’s, New York, 26 May 1994, lot 88). The mahogany couch, inlaid with mother-of-pearl and furnished with a silk cushion, was one of a pair designed by Tadema for use in his studio around 1893 - one is now in the Victoria & Albert Museum. One side of the couch was decorated with a Greek design and the other Egyptian, so that it could be used as a more versatile prop for pictures. As Elizabeth Prettejohn has observed, pictures painted in the early years of the twentieth century at Grove End Road; ‘seem to show ancient Romans within interiors very like those of the modern London studio house.’ (Elizabeth Prettejohn and Peter Trippi (ed.), Lawrence Alma Tadema – At Home in Antiquity, 2016, p.109)
Expectation was given by the artist to Queen Alexandra in 1901. Tadema had been known to the royal family for some time. Queen Victoria conveyed a knighthood upon him in 1899, he drew a portrait drawing of Princess Victoria of Wales in 1897 and the Empress Frederick was apparently a great admirer of his work.