Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)AT/1
TitlePortfolios of photographs, drawings, tracings and prints
Extent156 boxes and 48 large boxes, 8 outsize boxes, and 4 items in planchest
Date19th century
DescriptionLawrence Alma-Tadema's collection of photographs and prints. Also includes drawings and tracings mainly by Alma-Tadema, and a few by J. A. Cull; J.J. Gaul; Miss Alma-Tadema; Lady Alma-Tadema; and G. Calleot Horsley.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema used many elements of Roman Art and architecture in his paintings. He strove for historical authenticity and in order to achieve this he made use of photographs. He started collecting photographs during his journey through Italy in 1863. Alma-Tadema bought hundreds of photographs during his many subsequent journeys, and many, but by no means all, are of Italian subjects.

Alma-Tadema stored these photographs, glued on cardboard mounts, in portfolios. These portfolios are sorted according to subjects: Roman aqueducts, triumphal arches, Egyptian architecture, flowers and animals, etc. Details from the photographs are often to be recognised in his paintings. The names of the photographers are usually unknown as Alma-Tadema did not record their names; regarding the subject matter as more important compared to the photographs' value to art history.
ArrangementThe portfolios were arranged first by Alma-Tadema under different subject headings (see manuscript list, reference AT/4/5).

Portfolios 1-164 were then listed in the handlist 'Alma Tadema Library. List of Photographs, Drawings, Prints', dated 1915.

It is unknown when portfolios 165-168 were assigned their portfolio numbers. The contents of these four additional portfolios were listed during cataloguing enhancement work in 2023.
Access StatusOpen


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