Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema, Lady Alma-Tadema was an English painter specialising in domestic and genre scenes of women and children. Eighteen of her paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy. Her husband, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, was also a painter.
A daughter of Dr. George Napoleon Epps (who was brother of Dr. John Epps), she had two sisters who were also painters (Emily studied under John Brett, a Pre-Raphaelite, and Ellen under Ford Madox Brown), while Edmund Gosse and Rowland Hill were her brothers-in-law.
It was at Madox Brown's home that Alma-Tadema first met her in December 1869, when she was aged 17 and he 33. (His first wife had died in May that year.) He fell in love at first sight, and so it was partly her presence in London (and partly the fact that only in England had his work consistently sold) that influenced him into relocating in England rather than elsewhere when forced to leave the continent by the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in July 1870.
Arriving in London at the beginning of September 1870 with his small daughters and sister Artje, Alma-Tadema wasted no time in contacting Epps, and it was arranged that he would give her painting lessons. During one of these, he proposed marriage. As he was then thirty-four and Laura was now only eighteen, her father was initially opposed to the idea. Dr. Epps finally agreed on the condition that they should wait until they knew each other better. They married in July 1871 and, though this second marriage proved childless, it also proved enduring and happy, with Laura acting as stepmother to her husband's daughters by his first marriage, Laurence and Anna.
The Paris Salon in 1873 gave Alma-Tadema her first success in painting, and in 1878, at the Paris International Exhibition, she was one of only two English women artists exhibited. Her other venues included the Royal Academy (from 1873), the Grosvenor Gallery and others in London. Alma-Tadema exhibited her work at the Palace of Fine Arts at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. She also had occasional work as an illustrator, particularly for The English Illustrated Magazine, and was well known as a hostess in their London residences at Regents Park and later Grove End Road. Alma-Tadema died on 15 August 1909.