Artwork of the Week: June 2018 (Week 23)
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912), Summer Offering, 1911, oil on panel, 14 ¼ x 20 ¾ inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of F. Dean Berry, 1978.
This week’s artwork features a painting that represents the sights, colors, and feel of summer. In 1911, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema painted Summer Offering, which depicts women holding and wearing the beautiful roses of this season. The red-headed woman in the center is Alma-Tadema’s youngest daughter Anna, who holds a vase of vibrant pink roses. To her left, her blond sister Laurence wears a crown of white roses in her hair and in a vase. Both embody youth, optimism, and hope. Smaller and almost unnoticeable in the lower left corner, we glimpse one more woman, who appears to be enjoying the fragrance of a yellow rose, like those adorning her head. This figure represents Laura, Alma-Tadema’s second wife, who passed away two years prior. The artist himself was also suffering ill health when he painted this work and died one year later in 1912.