The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo Italian

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Marc Antony’s galleon has arrived in Egypt and, overcome by Queen Cleopatra’s beauty, the Roman general bows to kiss her hand. It is the beginning of his undoing. Having betrayed Rome, he is defeated and kills himself; Cleopatra then also commits suicide. Black attendants and a turbaned figure signify foreign lands, while Cleopatra has been given European features and dress. Her costume is inspired by both theater practice and seventeenth-century fashion. This is an oil sketch, or modello, for a huge canvas in the former Yusupov country palace at Arkhangelskoye, near Moscow.

The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid), Oil on canvas

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