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From the Collection— “A Roman Amateur” by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Lawrence Alma-Tadema (English, b. Dutch, 1836–1912), A Roman Amateur (also known as A Roman Art Lover), 1870. Oil on wood panel, 29 x 39 1/2 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Layton Art Collection, Gift of the following Layton Art Gallery Trustees, plus Layton funds, between 1892-96: George Dickens, Frederick Layton, William Plankinton, B.K. Miller, Samuel Marshall, J.H. Van Dyke, L149. Photo by John Neinhuis.
Lawrence Alma-Tadema (English, b. Dutch, 1836–1912), A Roman Amateur, 1870. Oil on wood panel, 29 x 39 1/2 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Layton Art Collection, Gift of the following Layton Art Gallery Trustees, plus Layton funds, between 1892-96: George Dickens, Frederick Layton, William Plankinton, B.K. Miller, Samuel Marshall, J.H. Van Dyke, L149. Photo by John Neinhuis.

On December 14, 1894, Frederick Layton, the Milwaukee meat packer and philanthropist who founded the Layton Art Gallery (the predecessor of the Milwaukee Art Museum), wrote a letter to Julius Gugler of the Milwaukee Art Association.

Layton requested the organization to raise $10,000 by subscription to purchase a painting by Lawrence Alma-Tadema which was currently on display at Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel as a loan from one of Layton’s art dealer friends.

The subscription must have been successful, because the Layton Art Collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum has a wonderful painting by Alma-Tadema!

This painting, called A Roman Amateur, can be found in Gallery #10 with other works of 19th-century European art.