Monday, November 19, 2007
The Proposal by Lawrence Alam-Tadema
I think this is one of the best of Lawrence Alma-Tadema's paintings.
The girl looks so excited and happy about the proposal. It is obvious that she intends to accept the offer, but she is trying to look very coy. She wants to keep the young man dangling for just a little longer.
The girl is wearing Roman clothes, but she is every inch an English girl. That is the delightful thing about Alma-Tadema's paintings; although he paints scenes from Roman life, all of his women look like Victorian English ladies.
That is the secret about Alam-Tadema's images. He presents the idea that although people in different times and places may dress and look different, essentially they are still people, with the same hopes and desires. In Alma-Tadema's mind, everybody everywhere hoped for the joys of family and children.
To an extent this is true. All of humanity is created in the image of God. Marriage was created for all. Though societies may pervert marriage and family, the desire for loving family relations as God intended can be found throughout the world and throughout history.