Preparations for the Festivities (The Floral Wreath)

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A man converses with a woman as she threads a garland of flowers. Two servants—one veiled by a fabric screen on the left—decorate the Pompeian interior for a celebration. The setting is filled with archaeological details, including a marble fountain with a lion’s-head spout and bronze, animal-shaped cups. Scenes like this helped establish Alma-Tadema’s reputation as a painter of life in the ancient world.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

British, born Netherlands, 1836–1912

Preparations for the Festivities (The Floral Wreath)


Oil on canvas

21 1/4 x 27 1/4 in. (54 x 69.2 cm) Frame: 32 5/8 x 38 x 3 in. (82.9 x 96.5 x 7.6 cm)

Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Bequest of Madeleine Dahlgren Townsend, 1982




Standing, Percy Cross. Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema O.M., R.A.. London: Cassell & Co., 1905.

Swanson, Vern G. The Biography and Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. London: Garton & Co., 1990.

Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.