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Tibullus at Delia's House

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The Roman poet Tibullus is shown reciting to a group of friends in the house of his mistress, Delia. Alma-Tadema achieved extraordinary social and financial success for reconstructions of antiquity that gave late-nineteenth-century audiences an imaginary glimpse into a world very different from...

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Inscription

Lower right, on chair: L Alma Tadema

Provenance

1866, Ernest Gambart (b. 1814 - d. 1902), London (original commission); 1867, sold by Gambart to William Prescott Hunt, Boston [see note 1]. 1902, Blakeslee Galleries, New York; 1902, sold by Blakeslee to Robert Dawson Evans (b. 1844 - d. 1909) and his wife, Maria Antoinette Hunt Evans (b. 1845 - d. 1917), Boston [see note 2]; 1917, bequest of Mrs. Robert Dawson Evans to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1917) NOTES: [1] This painting, executed in 1866, was one of twenty-four paintings that the art dealer Ernest Gambart ordered from Alma-Tadema in 1864. It was exhibited at Gambart's London gallery in 1867. See Jennifer Gordon Lovett and William R. Johnston, Empires Restored, Elysium Revisited: The Art of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Williamstown, MA, 1992), pp. 49-50, cat. no. 7. W. Prescott Hunt lent a "Pompeian Interior" by Alma-Tadema to the Allston Club, Boston, in 1867, but whether it is identical to the MFA painting is not known. The MFA painting was certainly lent in 1896-97 to the First Annual Exhibition, Carnegie Art Galleries, Pittsburgh (no. 1), but the lender's name is not given in the catalogue. [2] A signed letter from T. J. Blakeslee (April 28, 1902) attests that this is one of a group of paintings Evans bought from the gallery on January 8, February 20, and March 11, 1902.

Credit Line

Robert Dawson Evans Collection

1866

Dimensions

43.5 x 64.5 cm (17 1/8 x 25 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

17.3239

Medium or Technique

Oil on panel

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Paintings