A Votive Offering (The Late Roses)
Alma-Tadema was born in Holland. This watercolour was made shortly after he moved to London in 1870. It was commissioned by Belgian-born art publisher and dealer Ernest Gambart (1814-1902). A Votive Offering or The last Roses depicts a young woman making a votive, or ritual, offering of ‘last roses’. Other food offerings are placed around the altar, which could suggest that the gifts are in gratitude for a successful harvest. The subject and composition is closely related to Alma-Tadema’s earlier oil painting The Last Roses, made in 1872.