Silver Favourites (1903)
painting 96 of 143 by Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Information about painting
The verse on the frame is from Wordsworth's poem Gold and Silver Fishes in a Vase. He wonders what captive life must be like for the fish yet cannot help taking pleasure in their loveliness. The women 'trapped' in this painting are admired by the viewer for their beauty and, like the fish, seem indolent and slightly bored.
Alma-Tadema's paintings were extremely popular. He chose scenes of everyday life in Ancient Rome which people could relate to easily. He carefully researched all the antique detail so the paintings remained highbrow in intent although some critics still criticised his 'Victorians in togas'.