Laurens Alma Tadema (1836-1912) was the son of a public notary in the village of Dronrijp in Friesland. At sixteen he enrolled at the art academy in Antwerp. It was on a trip to Pompeii in 1863, that Alma Tadema developed his love of Classical art and architecture which agreed in both style and content with his own precise, academic manner of painting.
In 1870, he moved to London, which was to remain his home, becoming a denizen (permanent resident) and changing his name to Lawrence. He was a popular artist and highly successful, receiving a knighthood in 1899. In addition to his depictions of life in Antiquity, he also painted portraits and theatre decors. In 1902, Alma Tadema visited Egypt, which gave his work a new impulse. Alma Tadema’s historical accuracy was remarkable for his time. It is not surprising that his paintings were considered reliable examples for historical films.