The menu below lists the three sensory pairings produced by AVM Curiosities for Leighton Late: Waiting for Alma-Tadema. The event at Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London, took place on Friday 2 June 2017.
EDIBLE PAIRING 1 :
The Finding of Moses, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1904
While Frederic Leighton’s studio marks him as an ardent Orientalist, the Pre-Raphaelite’s love affair with the East was an inspirational wildfire that encouraged many artistic endeavors. The Finding of Moses had been a popular subject for paintings since the Renaissance, however the version by Lawrence Alma-Tadema is arguably one of the most revered on the subject. Interest in Egypt surged during the late 1800’s due to new archeological finds, with artists such as Alma-Tadema creating new and improved ‘authentic’ décor in their depictions. In celebration of the nineteenth-century's obsession with Egypt, AVM Curiosities have created a spiced honey and fennel bread with candied figs and zabadi; reflecting on both the content of the painting and recipes from 3000BC.
SENSORY PAIRING 2:
The Triumph of Titus, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1885
Commissioned by AVM Curiosities, composer and sound designer Troy Hewson has created an exclusive soundscape in response to Alma-Tadema’s The Triumph Of Titus. The aural interpretation draws upon several influences, but none more so than the impact that Alma-Tadema’s paintings have had amongst filmmakers, from the silent films of the 1920’s to the more contemporary work of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator.
The cinematic visual interpretation of Alma-Tadema’s work in films runs parallel to the cinematic aspects of my soundscape, as music has always heightened the dramatic feeling of a film, as it does with many visual stimuli. The elements and stories behind the painting exude images of not just patriotism and triumph but also family, intimacy and loyalty, which I believe are the quieter elements that keep a kingdom successful. So the key for me was to make the soundscape soft and reflective as well as dramatic and powerful.
– Troy Hewson
EDIBLE PAIRING 3:
Sweet Industry, Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema, 1904
Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema was Lawrence’s second wife, an accomplished painter, she specialised in domestic and genre scenes of women and children, often in Dutch 17th-century settings and style. Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a firm supporter of his wife’s work, and by today’s standards he would certainly be considered a feminist; he encouraged his wife and daughters to pursue careers in the arts and to become proficient artists in their own right (an independence that was reflected in his youngest daughter Anna’s commitment to the Women's Suffrage Movement). Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema’s work has been described as ‘highly sentimental’, often reflecting homely and feminine activities such as the embroidery in Sweet Industry. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why she was never as widely noted as her husband. To discuss this point, and the relationship between art and craft, creativity and gender, AVM Curiosities have created an Edible Embroidery Class during which these topics can be debated.
Leighton Late: Waiting for Alma-Tadema
Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London
Friday 2 June 2017