The main source of inspiration in the paintings by Lawrence Alma-Tadema is the documentation of the Vesuvian cities, which may only rarely be recognized as a reminiscence of Greek or Italic art. However, when, in 1879, he was commissioned to build the sets for Shakespeare’s Coriolanus in the staging of Henry Irving for the Lyceum Theatre in London, he chose to set the play in archaic times, in sharp contrast with the sets usually chosen by his contemporaries. He was, however, compelled to fill the gap in the realities of6th century B.C. Rome with the study of Etruscan monuments.
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