SIA Inspiration: Lawrence Alma-Tadema

It’s summertime, time for parties and relaxing and some good old indulgence, so I thought, what better painting to capture that summertime spirit than Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s “The Roses of Heliogabalus“?

At first glance, this painting seems to depict your typical Roman hedonistic banquet, but it’s actually a much darker incident: it shows the Roman emperor Heliogabalus (the one in the gold robe) drowning his guests in an avalanche of rose petals released from a false ceiling, smothering some of them to death. Those crazy Romans, up to their old tricks again…

Death by rose petals in the middle of a Roman banquet seems like a good way to go, if you ask me. Still, its violent subject matter aside, this is a simply gorgeous painting, with meticulous details, lots and lots of soft colors, and beautiful texture from the waves of rose (Alma-Tadema was said to have ordered fresh rose petals shipped to him so that he could paint them as realistically as possible). There are tons of inspirations here to choose from, so put together your best outfits, and send them to me by next Monday, June 13th! Have fun!

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