Collection Online
The vintage festival
oil on wood panel
51.0 × 119.0 cm
inscribed in black paint l.l.: Alma Tadema 1871
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1888
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Commissioned from the artist by Ernest Gambart (1814–1902), 1871; Gambart collection, London and Spa, Belgium, until 1886; from whom purchased by Agnew’s (dealer), London, 14 July 1886 (stock no. 4137); with Agnew’s, until 1888; from where purchased, by Alfred Taddy Thompson and Sir James McCulloch, for the NGV, 22 May 1888.

The vintage festival is set in the villa of Marcus Holconius Rufus, a prominent citizen of Pompeii at the time of that city’s destruction in AD 79. This work is one of the astonishingly vivid recreations of daily life in the ancient Roman and Greek worlds that brought the Dutch-born Alma-Tadema – who had migrated to England from Belgium in 1870 – both critical acclaim and financial security. Alma-Tadema’s Dionysian vision of Roman splendour is a quintessential example of the archaeologically informed taste for classicism that prevailed in Victorian England.


The broad scale Academy frame on The Vintage Festival, can be compared to the frame on Orchardson, The first cloud.
These frames, though richly ornamented, are essentially linear in form. Strongly contrasted to Baroque frames, their heritage is in the Classical Revival and the Italian Renaissance.

The painting was cleaned in 2007.

Unknown - 19th century

timber, composition, gold leaf


good original condition

85 x 151 x 15 cm