The Lovers’ Almanac 8 January – Dreams – art by Lawrence Alma-Tadema & Pavel Filanov

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  Who is your dream weaver?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

are they comin’
fewer and farther
fadin’ in the rear view
at ninety miles an hour
places, time not
to be visited again

mile after mile
of nothin’
but open road,
the big sky,
plains stretchin’ out

can you hear me
i wonder
i do wish
you would come

© copyright 2018 mac tag/cowboy coleridge all rights reserved

Dream Weaver

This here is a fragmentation
Of my delicious delusion
Did I dream you
Do you exist

At times it feels
As if you were here next to me
At other times

It feels like you were long ago

I still feel your skin under mine
Gently kneadin’, always needin’
More, urgently pushin’, pressin’
Hot wet friction overwhelmin’

It was that way
Please, tell me it was that way

It was that way last night
In my dreams, you were there
Under the covers, whisperin’
And lovin’, touchin’ each other

Weavin’ our passion together
Dreamin’ of you
A good, good dream
A dream very
Like the dream Verlaine often dreamed
One that can still dispel my grief
A dream of you that will sustain
Until next you appear to me

Weavin’ this dream with the others
Of you to see me through the night

© copyright 2013 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The Song of the Day is “Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright.  Disclaimer: We do not own the rights to this song.  No copyright infringement intended. 

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Lawrence Alma-Tadema 1870 (2).jpg

Today is the birthday of Lawrence Alma-Tadema (born Lourens Alma Tadema; Dronrijp, Netherlands 8 January 1836 – 25 June 1912 Weisbaden, German Empire); Dutch painter of special British denizenship.  Trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Belgium, he settled in 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, with languorous figures set in marbled interiors or against a backdrop of blue Mediterranean Sea and sky.


Lourens Alma Tadema’s birth house and statue in Dronrijp, Netherlands

The Education of the Children of Clovis (1861), oil on canvas, 127 x 176.8 cm, private collection. Queen Clotilde, wife of King Clovis, is shown training her three young children the art of hurling the ax to avenge the death of her father.

Egyptian Chess Players (1865), oil on wood, 39.8 x 55.8 cm. Private collection.

Anna (in front) and Laurence (Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1873)

On 24 September 1863 he was married, in Antwerp City Hall, to Marie-Pauline Gressin Dumoulin, the daughter of Eugène Gressin Dumoulin, a French journalist living near Brussels.  Nothing is known of their meeting and little of Pauline herself, as Alma-Tadema never spoke about her after her death in 1869.  Her image appears in a number of oils, though he painted her portrait only three times, the most notable appearing in My studio (1867).  Alma-Tadema and his wife spent their honeymoon in Florence, Rome, Naples and Pompeii. This, his first visit to Italy, developed his interest in depicting the life of ancient Greece and Rome, especially the latter since he found new inspiration in the ruins of Pompeii, which fascinated him and would inspire much of his work in the coming decades.

On 28 May 1869, after years of ill health, Pauline died at Schaerbeek, in Belgium, at the age of thirty-two, of smallpox.  Her death left Tadema disconsolate and depressed.  He ceased painting for nearly four months.

During the summer Tadema himself began to suffer from a medical problem which doctors in Brussels were frustratingly unable to diagnose.  Gambart eventually advised him to go to England for another medical opinion.  Soon after his arrival in London in December 1869, Alma-Tadema was invited to the home of the painter Ford Madox Brown.  There he met Laura Theresa Epps, who was seventeen years old, and fell in love with her at first sight.

The Tepidarium (1881), oil on panel, 24 x 33cm . The Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, UK. Lounging in the Tepidarium, the central hall joining the baths of ancient cities, a curvaceous beauty takes her rest.

The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in July 1870 compelled Alma-Tadema to leave the continent and move to London.  His infatuation with Laura Epps played a great part in his relocation to England and Gambart felt that the move would be advantageous to the artist’s career.  In stating his reasons for the move, Tadema simply said “I lost my first wife, a French lady with whom I married in 1863, in 1869. Having always had a great predilection for London, the only place where, up till then my work had met with buyers, I decided to leave the continent and go to settle in England, where I have found a true home.”

The painter wasted no time in contacting Laura, and it was arranged that he would give her painting lessons.  During one of these, he proposed marriage.  As he was then thirty-four and Laura was now only eighteen, her father was initially opposed to the idea.  Dr Epps finally agreed on the condition that they should wait until they knew each other better.  They married in July 1871.  Laura, under her married name, also won a high reputation as an artist, and appears in numerous of Alma-Tadema’s canvases after their marriage (The Women of Amphissa (1887) being a notable example).  This second marriage was enduring and happy.

The Roses of Heliogabalus (1888), oil on canvas, 132.1 x 213.7 cm, private collection. As it was painted during the winter, Tadema arranged to have roses sent weekly from the French Riviera for four months to ensure the accuracy of each petal.

Unconscious Rivals, (1893), oil on panel,45 x 63 cm, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery. Here the two women are just probably waiting for a lover. The composition is balanced by the flowers in bloom.

Spring, (1894), oil on canvas,179.2 x 80.3 cm, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. It depicts the festival of Cerealia in a Roman street. One of Tadema’s most famous and popular works, it took him four years to complete. The models for many of the participants and spectators were Tadema’s friends and members of his family

Portrait of Alma Tadema

On 15 August 1909 Alma-Tadema’s wife, Laura, died at the age of fifty-seven.  The grief-stricken widower outlived his second wife by less than three years.  His last major composition was Preparation in the Coliseum (1912).  In the summer of 1912, Alma Tadema was accompanied by his daughter Anna to Kaiserhof Spa, Wiesbaden, Germany where he was to undergo treatment for ulceration of the stomach.  He died there on 28 June 1912 at the age of seventy-six.  He was buried in a crypt in St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Silver Favourites, 1903, oil on wood, 69.1 x 42.2 cm, Manchester Art Gallery.

The Finding of Moses, 1904, oil on canvas, 137.7 x 213.4 cm, private collection.

This painting completed in 1881, depicts Sappho and her companions listening as the poet Alcaeus plays a kithara, on the island of Lesbos (Mytilene). (Walters Art Museum)

An eloquent silence, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema


Portrait of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, 1891, Oil on canvas, 45.7 × 58.4 cm, National Museum, Warsaw.
Pavel Filonov
Filonov Selfportrait 1921.JPG

Self portrait

Today is the birthday of Pavel Nikolayevich Filonov (Moscow; January 8, 1883 – December 3, 1941) was a Russian avant-garde painter, art theorist, and poet.


A Peasant Family (The Holy Family), 1914, oil on canvas, 159×128 cm, Russian Museum.

Portrait of E. N. Glebova (the artist’s sister), 1915, oil on canvas. 117×152.5 cm. Russian Museum.

Mac Tag

Share This Post

Trackback URL

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments on "The Lovers’ Almanac 8 January – Dreams – art by Lawrence Alma-Tadema & Pavel Filanov"

Hi Stranger, leave a comment:


<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe to Comments