Born Lourens Tadema (Alma being his middle name) in Dronryp, Friesland, to Pieter Tadema, a notary, and his second wife Hinke Brouwer—from an early age he showed some artistic ability and the beginnings of his highly methodical and exacting nature as demonstrated in his paintings to follow. He only adopted the now familiar form of his name after moving to London in 1870.
At the age of 16 he enrolled at the Antwerp Academy where he studied under Gustav Wappers and, later, Nicaise de Keyser, both exponents of the Romantic movement in art. Later he became an assistant to the historical painter Baron Hendryk Leys whilst living in the house of an archaeologist, Louis de Taye. From these two men he began to develop his interest in history and archaeology , which was further developed from contact with the German Egytologist, Georg Ebers (later to become one of his biographers). He assisted Leys in painting historical murals in Antwerp's Town Hall... [Read More]