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Alma-Tadema Spring Music Box

Art and music combine in this charming music box. The outer paper box features a detail from one of the J. Paul Getty Museum's 19th Century Paintings, Spring by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Inside, a high-quality sound mechanism is mounted on a resonance board for sound quality. The melody "Four Seasons: Spring" by Antonio Lucio Vivaldi plays when the hand crank is turned.

- Box dimensions: 2.25 inches x 1.75 x 1.25 inches
- Made in China
- Item #: GMB02


A procession of women and children descending marble stairs carry and wear brightly colored flowers. Cheering spectators fill the windows and roof of a classical building. Lawrence Alma-Tadema here represented the Victorian custom of sending children into the country to collect flowers on the morning of May 1, or May Day, but placed the scene in ancient Rome. In this way, he suggested the festival's great antiquity through architectural details, dress, sculpture, and even the musical instruments based on Roman originals.

Alma Tadema's curiosity about the ancient world was insatiable, and the knowledge he acquired was incorporated into over three hundred paintings of ancient archeological and architectural design. Alma-Tadema's paintings also enjoyed popularity later, when his large panoramic depictions of Greek and Roman life caught the attention of Hollywood. Certain scenes in Cecil B. De Mille's film Cleopatra (1934) were inspired by the painting Spring.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Dutch, 1836 - 1912)
Spring, 1894, Oil on canvas
178.4 x 80.3 cm (70 1/4 x 31 5/8 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles