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The Museum of Friesland: Alma Tadema


Classical seduction: paintings in Hollywood

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Dronrijp 1836 – Wiesbaden 1912) acquired world fame with his paintings, particularly in the United States and Britain. More than eighty masterpieces from around the world will be on show in Leeuwarden from this autumn of the most successful painter of the 19th century. Studio Louter developed slow-motion projections of Hollywood films in which Alma-Tadema’s influential paintings are brought back to life.


In his work, Alma-Tadema paints a picture of classical antiquity and depicts this so beautifully and convincingly that directors used his paintings as a template for such Hollywood blockbusters as The Ten Commandments (1956). And Alma-Tadema’s work continues to influence the film industry, providing it with the blueprint for such films as Gladiator (2000) and Ben Hur (2016). Studio Louter’s film images not only bring the beautiful 19th-century paintings to life, but also give visitors insight into how film makers have been influenced by the work of this Frisian master.



“The appropriately epic exhibition of the work of Lawrence Alma-Tadema […] is one of the largest ever held.” (M. Kennedy, The Guardian)


“[…] filmmakers were inspired by the luxe scenes of ancient Egypt and Rome. This connection is vividly illustrated in a spacious gallery where film clips play directly above Alma-Tadema’s colorful paintings.”  (S. Jaques, The Huffington Post)


8 projections

Double projection




  • Film