Currier Museum of Art
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- 19th Century British Painting
- A Knock at the Door , 1897
- oil on panel
- 25 1/8 in. x 17 5/8 in. (63.82 cm x 44.77 cm)
- Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema (London, England, 1852 - 1909, London, England)
- Bequest of Florence Andrews Todd in Memory of her Mother, Sally W. Andrews, PC T 15 (169)
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This domestic interior, in which an elegantly dressed woman stands in front of a mirror, brings to mind similar Dutch scenes painted two centuries earlier. Details, such as the Delft tiles along the floor, the open casement window, and the date of 1684 on the calendar, serve as references to seventeenth-century Holland. Like its predecessors, the painting at first glance appears to be an allegory for domestic diligence, though its full meaning remains vague. As the title indicates, the woman has just heard a knock at the door, possibly from a suitor. She has dropped her embroidery on the chair and hurried to the mirror to check on her appearance.
Laura Alma-Tadema was married to the famous artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, whom she met while taking art classes in his studio. She became an accomplished artist herself, noted for an intimate, highly detailed and realistic style popular during the Victorian era in England. Both great admirers of Dutch decorative arts, the Alma-Tademas decorated their London home with objects like those in this painting.
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