The artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema was born in Dronrijp, the Netherlands, and trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Belgium. He moved to England in 1870 and spent the rest of his life there. A classical-subject painter, he became famous for his depictions of the luxury and decadence of the Roman Empire. Whilst incredibly successful in his day, his reputation suffered in the 1960's, eventually being declared "the worst painter of the 19th century" by John Ruskin. Gradually his reputation recovered over the following decade to the extent that his paintings now fetch amongst the highest prices paid for any nineteenth century artist.
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