The artist and architect T. R. Spence was born in Yorkshire into a family of builders. He studied as an architect, and then settled in London, where he became a painter of architectural scenes. He exhibited in the Royal Academy in the 1890s and was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Fine Art Society in 1910. His architectural work included Jesmond Church, Newcastle, and the interior of All Saints Church, Ennismore Gardens, London.
Spence's best work consisted of Greek and Roman subjects in the Classical style of Alma Tadema. These include very long canvases with lots of figures, including a series showing scenes from the Odyssey. He also produced a number of girls on marble terraces, again in the style of Alma Tadema, but usually including a perspective and middle ground, invariably avoided by the latter artist.
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