The Roses of Heliogabalus (1888) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 - 1912)
The Roses of Heliogabalus is a famous painting by the Anglo-Dutch Victorian painter Lourens Alma-Tadema based on a probably apocryphal episode (the story is from the Historia Augusta) in the short life (204-222) of the Roman Emperor Elagabalus, also known as Heliogabalus.
Elagabalus is depicted trying to smother his unsuspecting guests under an avalanche of rose petals released from the ceilings.
The depicted blossoms were sent weekly for four months from Côte d'Azur by train to the artist's studio in London in the winter of 1887 - 1888. Even months after the painting was completed, Alma-Tadema still found dried rose petals in his studio.
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