Woman and Flowers

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Dutch (active in England), 1836–1912)


49.8 x 37.2 cm (19 5/8 x 14 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on panel

Out on Loan

On display at Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Netherlands, October 1, 2016 – February 7, 2017





In many paintings, Alma-Tadema infused the stylistic elements of northern European scenes of daily life with the contemporary Victorian interest in classical antiquity (the artist kept 168 volumes of photographs of Greek and Roman antiquities). Here, Alma-Tadema depicted a woman in classical dress leaning on a Pompeian bronze table, the model for which is now in the archaeological museum in Naples. The artist’s detailed treatment of flowers, jewelry, and textiles helps to create a sensuous and highly exotic mood.


Center left, on table edge: L. ALMA-TADEMA 1868


By 1872, Thomas Wigglesworth (b. 1814 - d. 1906 or 1907), Boston [see note 1]; by descent to his niece, Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth (Mrs. W. Scott Fitz) (b. 1847 - d. 1927), Boston; by descent to her son, Edward Jackson Holmes (b. 1873 - d. 1950), Boston; 1941, gift of Edward Jackson Holmes to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 13, 1941)

[1] He first lent the painting to the Boston Athenaeum in 1872 ("The Roman Lady," cat. no. 158).

Credit Line

Gift of Edward Jackson Holmes