OIL PAINTING: After the Audience, 1879
Scenes of small-town life, displaying the distinctive coloring of Pompeian wall decoration with its rich reds, dominate Alma-Tadema's production for the decade after his first visit to Pompeii.
In After the Audience of 1879, Alma-Tadema creates a distinctively urban environment. Although After the Audience is similar in dimensions to the Pompeian pictures, the spaces represented within it are far more expansive: the depicted architecture is now metropolitan in scale. In contrast to the modest archway in Entrance to a Roman Theater, a marble arch of vast proportions soars above the head of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, the emperor Augustus's son-in-law and political henchman, and the atr ium beyond can accommodate a truly urban crowd of retainers and clients, massed together so that individual faces and actions are not discernible.