Always Welcome

Always Welcome, 1887
Laura Teresa Epps Alma-Tadema (1852-1909)
Oil on canvas
BORGM 00112
Image © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

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Always Welcome

Laura Alma-Tadema concentrated on domestic and genre scenes of women and children in 17th century Dutch settings. Always Welcome is of a 17th century Dutch interior where a young girl is visiting her bedridden mother. Light, colour and beautiful texture are at the heart of this work. The simplicity of the bond is in contrast to the rich bedroom setting. The woman who posed as the mother in this painting was Edith Hipkins (1854-1945), a portrait painter herself and a friend of the Alma-Tadema family.

This painting was a favourite of Merton’s. He particularly loved the tender holding of hands. He bought the painting in 1893, sold it and bought it back again! This painting was considered to be one of Laura’s finest and was loaned by Merton for Laura’s memorial exhibition in 1910.

Laura Epps was born to a London doctor. She met the Dutch artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema when aged 17 years and he was 33. He taught her to paint and they married in 1871.  In 1873, she exhibited her first work at the Salon in Paris, and that same year she started to exhibit at the Royal Academy in London. She was one of only two British women artists to have work accepted for the 1878 Paris Exposition.


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