Alma-Tadema’s works are remarkable for the way in which flowers, textures and hard reflecting substances, like metals, pottery, and especially marble, are painted – indeed, his realistic depiction of marble led him to be called the ‘marbellous painter’.
From early in his career, Alma-Tadema was particularly concerned with architectural accuracy, often including objects that he would see at museums.
Alma-Tadema was a perfectionist. He worked assiduously to make the most of his paintings, often repeatedly reworking parts of paintings before he found them satisfactory to his own high standards. He was sensitive to every detail and architectural line of his paintings, as well as the settings he was depicting.