from the Fries Museum website:
Alma-Tadema was the most successful and seductive storyteller of his day. He accomplished this by an innovative use of space in his work. Through his great knowledge of archaeology and classical antiquity he managed to bring the days of ancient Rome to life in paintings. His scenes were received so enthusiastically all over the world that our present image of classical antiquity was influenced by them. In Hollywood too, Alma-Tadema’s interpretation caught on and became the basis for seminal films about this era, from Ben-Hur to Gladiator. His international top pieces and his world now meet in the Museum of Friesland.