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In the Tepidarium

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

In the Tepidarium

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
  • Date: 1881
  • Style: Romanticism
  • Genre: nude painting (nu)
  • Media: oil, canvas
  • Order Oil Painting
    reproduction

The Tepidarium depicts a warm Roman bath, of the same name. The woman on the sofa holds a large strategically placed ostrich feather and a strigil, which was used for scraping the skin after soaping and oiling it. The A and F Pears Soap Company originally bought the painting, intending to use it in a soap advertisement, but never did, for the fear that its erotic nude might shock customers. It was later sold to a private collector in 1916. This painting exemplifies Alma-Tadema’s ability to render exact architectural details with soft and luxurious textures, providing a glimpse of romantic reality.

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