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  • Cleopatra

    Artist:
    Stanzione, Massimo. 1585-1656
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    162x99,5 cm

Stanzione, Massimo. 1585-1656

Cleopatra

Italy, 1630s - 1640s

Cleopatra VII, last Ptolemaic queen of Egypt (69-30 BC), was a colourful figure who married her own brother and co-ruler, and who was later supported against her husband's faction by Julius Caesar. After Caesar's death she was supported by the Roman military commander Mark Antony, whom she married. In the battle for power with the future Roman emperor, Octavian Augustus, she and Mark Antony were defeated at Actium in 31 BC. Octavian planned a triumphal return to Rome with Cleopatra proudly displayed as a captive, to avoid which she killed herself. An asp was brought to her in a basket of fruit and she allowed the poisonous snake to bite her. Images of the dying Cleopatra are often to be found in 17th-century Italian paintings. Stanzione's painting is highly decorative, with large areas of colour, a heavy golden curtain and the deep cherry drapery setting off the marvellous naked figure of Cleopatra. The heroine reveals a piquant combination of child-like facial features with a magnificent body of classical proportions.

School:

Title:

Cleopatra

Place:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

162x99,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1968; purchased from a private person

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-10030

Category:

Collection:

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