The library interior shows elements of the Aesthetic Movement. The furniture, including a fur-covered couch, bentwood chairs, and a bamboo armchair and writing table, located in the neighboring room on the left, is utilitarian. The use of tiles on either side of the stained glass windows and of geometric-patterned walls are design components often seen in late nineteenth century England.


  • Title: Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema's Library in Townshend House, London
  • Creator: Anna Alma-Tadema
  • Date Created: 1884
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: Thaw Collection
  • Medium: Brush and watercolor and gouache, pen and ink, graphite on white paper
  • Signed: Signed, lower left: Anna Alma-Tadema 19/11/84
  • Provenance: Eugene V. Thaw Collection; Sotheby's London, Wednesday June 5, 1991 (Victorian Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours, lot 341; The Fine Art Society, London; Jeremy Cooper Limited, London
  • Paper Support: White paper
  • Exhibitions: New York, NY , Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. House Proud: Nineteenth-Century Watercolor Interiors from the Thaw Collection, August 12, 2008-January 25, 2009.
  • Dimensions: Old frame H x W x D: 55.9 x 67.3 x 4 cm (22 in. x 26 1/2 in. x 1 9/16 in.)Sheet: 33 x 45 cm (13 x 17 11/16 in.)
  • Bibliography: Gail S. Davidson et al., House Proud, Nineteenth-Century Watercolor Interiors from the Thaw Collection (New York: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 2008), 60, fig. 45; 135, pl. 72.Charlotte Gere, An Album of Nineteenth-Century Interiors: Watercolors from Two Private Collections (New York: The Frick Collection, 1992), 96-97 [Illus].Jeremy Cooper, Victorian and Edwardian Furniture and Interiors (London: Jeremy Cooper Limited, 1987), plate 34 {Illus.}Mary Eliza Joy Haweis, Beautiful Houses; Being a Description of Certain Well-Known Artistic Houses (New York: Scribner & Welford, 1882), 24.

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