A signed lithograph of Caracalla and Geta by Lawrence Alma Tadema

One of very few lithographs produced under the supervision of the celebrated painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 - 1912), who was himself a collector of fine works etchings and prints by Old Masters whom he admired, especially Rembrandt. In an effort to communicate his art in the same way, Alma-Tadema, chose to translate one of his most famous works, Geta and Caracalla (1907), from a very colorful palette in its original oil into black and white. The results are remarkable, and bring out Alma-Tadema's carfule attention to detail and line that are often obscured — or at least overlooked — by his dramatic use of color.

The scene depicts the Emperor Caracalla, who reigned the Roman Empire from 198-217 AD, along with his brother, Geta, as they watch a bear fight in the Colosseum. Spared the brutal details of the bloody battle, Alma-Tadema instead uses the off-stage action as a metaphor for the brotherly rivalry between the brothers. Caracalla was most famous for murdering his brother in 211 AD. In terms of composition, craft, and narration, it is a masterpiece of Alma-Tadema's work. It is also very personal. The women in the piece are typical of Alma-Tadema, who often painted his second wife Laura Epps and their daughters.

Framed: 43.5"H x 47.5"W