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Cleopatra by kelleybean86 Cleopatra by kelleybean86
I've always loved Cleopatra, and after reading the book "Cleopatra: A Life" by Stacy Schiff, I was inspired to draw her. You can see a step-by-step of this drawing in progress: [link]

Reference photo from the lovely Chonastock: [link]

My blog: [link]
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:iconantilogicgirl:
antilogicgirl Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015
I really love that you have her in Greek clothing.
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:iconofficermark:
OfficerMark Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Excellent portrait of Cleopatra Thea Philopator ("the VII" is a modern invention ... she was never called that in her own time). I especially admire how you depict her as an intelligent, confident and commanding woman. She is in her palace overlooking the harbor of Alexandria which is historically correct. Personally I think she usually wore more Hellenistic or Greco-Roman fashions, and only wore an Egyptian costume for ceremonial occasions in her role as a priestess of Isis. Anyway, well done!
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much! I'm glad this illustration seems to have pleased history buffs. :)
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:iconofficermark:
OfficerMark Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Not just a history buff ... but a Cleopatra scholar (I have about 2 dozen books on her.) Your picture is superb. The vivid colors of her dress and use of purple was precisely a royal affectation in those days, the white head band, etc. are wonderful. Have you made any more of Cleo?
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! No I haven't made any more illustrations of Cleopatra.
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:iconnefersobekhotep:
nefersobekhotep Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014
I like everything except the 18th dynasty chair. This is exactly how I imagined Kleopatra VII when I read Cleopatra: A Life. The scrolls emphasize her intellectual nature.
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:iconlibra1010:
Libra1010 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014
 I think that this image captures Cleopatra VII more completely than any other I have yet seen and is very lovely work besides.
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:iconaxel-zeck:
axeL-zeck Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014
She's wonderful. I love the colors and the light.
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:iconvivalarigby:
VivaLaRigby Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
She doesn't remind me of Cleopatra, she reminds me of Salomé daughter of Herodias... the girl who asked the King for the Head of John the Baptist... you have portrayed exactly how she looked like, perfect!
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:iconbrandonspilcher:
BrandonSPilcher Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
May I ask why the woman portrayed here looks more like Salome than Cleopatra to you?
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:iconvivalarigby:
VivaLaRigby Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Good question, it looks like salome because she has that Jewish white vintage skin that woman from that time used to have, then the look on her face, she looks ambitious but at the same time evil... she also has the body shape of a Dancer, Salome was a dancer, it's just her, awesome work...
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:iconpaquito-2:
Paquito-2 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013
Intéressant essai de reconstitution.
Il ne faut pas oublier que Cléopâtre VII était macédonienne et appartenait à la dynastie des Ptolémées. Elle en sera sa dernière représentante.
Vouloir représenter Cléopâtre en Égyptienne est sans doute l'expression d'une erreur même si les Ptolémées ont toujours respecter les valeurs égyptiennes et ont pu se faire représenter, dans l'art traditionnel, parfois revêtus des parures royales et religieuses de ce pays.
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:iconironsides11:
ironsides11 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013
I really like how you gave her all the scrolls, as it helps show the viewer that she's adept at statecraft. :)
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconskootcherlass:
SkootcherLass Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Student General Artist
Absolutely beautiful! Cleopatra is one of my favorite pharaohs, her history is so rich and I feel you made her beautiful and noble at the same time. Thoughtful with obvious research
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:iconsanctus-hospes:
Sanctus-Hospes Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013
Wow, you did an amazing job with her facial expression! Determined and cautious, all the while very focused and intense!
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:icontirnanogindustries:
TirNaNogIndustries Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Sophisticated. At least a representation of Cleopatra that's accurate.
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:iconeuxiom:
Euxiom Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013
She looks gorgeous!
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:iconsihx:
Sihx Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
amazing!!!!!!!!! :O
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:iconzozococo14:
ZozoCoco14 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Hobbyist
I love that you portrayed her as greek so fitting.
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:iconterramoo:
Terramoo Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing. You did an amazing job on this.
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:iconbellotempestade:
BelloTempestade Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
Beautiful artwork!
It's true that Cleopatra wasn't very conventionally beautiful (though I doubt she was actually ugly), but she was so intelligent and she was charming and when she talked those traits shone through and that's what the men fell in love with!
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:iconofficermark:
OfficerMark Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Excellent comment ... I agree with you. Some Roman historians described her has being unremarkable when it came to beauty - like Plutarch and Tacitus; but Cassius Deo claimed she was a beauty.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I love this... the light is lovely and there's a nice, open, maritime feel you don't really see with many (if any) Cleo pics. It feels very Alexandrian.

My only nit is that the fabric of her outfit looks too much like modern polyblend bed-linen. Greek and Roman tunics were thin and 100% organic, and fell in narrow pleats; this allowed it to cling to the figure (much like Rachel Weisz's costume in AGORA [link]).

BTW Cleo looks a bit like Carrie Fisher. I find that strangely appropriate somehow...
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:iconloverofbeauty:
loverofbeauty Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013
Well, as far as her outfit is concerned, Schiff mentions in her biography that Cleopatra's clothes were probably made from either local linen or silk imported from China (by way of Egyptian trade with India).

I understand what you mean about the "clingy-ness" Greek and Roman tunics, but I don't know how practical that would have been in the Egyptian climate- native clothing from earlier periods was typically light and flowing to help with the heat.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
The costumes in AGORA are pretty accurate, especially as to the fabric that would have been worn. And when I say that fabric "clings" I mean it reveals the figure through the flowing folds, similar to what you see in Hellenistic sculpture. It's not like clingy polyblend clothing in the 1980s. (Oh man I remember the spandex... it was not fun.)
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:iconloverofbeauty:
loverofbeauty Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013
Well, the only experience I've had with spandex is with bike shorts and gymnastics uniforms, so I'll take your word on that one.

I only saw AGORA once several years ago, but recently I've been craving to see it again. Although it was several hundred years after Cleopatra's time, I guess the clothing would still have some similar qualities (Alexandria was basically the fashion capital of the world in its time).

I know what you mean about Hellenistic sculpture (I was an art history minor in college); it was characterized by a dynamism and sense of movement absent from earlier Classical pieces. There's actually a piece at the Metropolitan Museum that illustrates the point very well [link].
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:icondeinonychusempire:
DeinonychusEmpire Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Cleopatra is awesome, and this does her right justice!
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:icondananicole96:
DanaNicole96 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very beautiful! I especially like her outfit.:)
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:iconseekhim:
SeekHim Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Very nice. :)

I've always been fascinated with Cleopatra and I'm tired of seeing her portrayed as
a half naked temptress!

She probably did dress in Egyptian clothes a lot, (she was revered as a goddes by her people)
but she was by birth a Ptolemid/Macedonian by birth.

GOD bless
John 3:16
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconloverofbeauty:
loverofbeauty Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012
NOW THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!! I'm a huge fan of Stacy Schiff's book as well. I'd known beforehand that Cleopatra wasn't as Egyptian as most pop culture depictions show her to be, but after reading Cleopatra: A Life I've become more adamant about correcting popular misconceptions of her whenever they come up in conversation (though online I may be less vocal).

This is a really beautiful piece, and you've done a great job filling in the "blank spots" that the cover art left to the imagination. Nice work :)
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much! :)
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:iconannataure:
AnnaTaure Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012
Ah, at least a portrait that looks reasonably close to historical truth. The queen was not a high-class slut nor a pinup. You drew her like a smart, determined woman, and that's excellent.
Concerning the clothing we can suppose she would have worn the Egyptian finery for ceremonies.
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the comment, Anna. I believe that she did wear Egyptian styles for ceremonies and other public appearances. But I just wanted to depict Cleopatra in an average moment, in what might have been "everyday" clothing for her.
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:iconthe-hourglass-mage:
The-Hourglass-Mage Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I've read that book, as well as others about Cleopatra. Thank you for this accurate portrayal of her as an intelligent woman, not a sex symbol.
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
High five!
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:iconwolfberry-j:
Wolfberry-J Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012
Beautiful setting! I like the scholarly representation of Cleopatra.
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:icondoc-ash1391:
DOC-Ash1391 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I love this! You got your facts straight! :D This is beautifully done and very accurate. :D
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconeternalanomaly:
EternalAnomaly Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
Finally! A picture that does not depict Cleopatra as a seductress! It always bugged me that people ignore the fact that she was actually incredibly educated, especially for a woman in her day and age! I dread that people assume she was drop dead gorgeous, when in fact there is an actual bust of her that shows she was quite ordinary in appearance.
Love your picture! Thanks so much for drawing her the way she probably was! :)
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the comment, EternalAnomaly! It's nice to see that someone appreciates this unusual depiction of Cleopatra. :)
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:iconchaostudio:
chaostudio Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The atmosphere is there
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:iconapplesindecember:
applesindecember Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I love Cleopatra too! Great picture, nicely researched :)
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:iconamelianvs:
AMELIANVS Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
You obviously based her look on survived pictorial evidence.this is probably close what she really looked like.
FACT: although she was not particularly beautiful,it does not mean she was not a nice woman-she only werent what was considered topmodel in her time,but she had great charisma-this is how puts it one of ancient historians(Suetonius,I think),who also noted that there is polpular legend about her extraordinary physical beauty,when in fact she was more average in this matter.
FACT: On your photo you look beautiful :-)
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconsargoss:
Sargoss Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
youre right with youre facts

but cleopatra was realy charming and that is the way where she charmed the romand with

sorry for my grammer
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:iconmyrth1:
Myrth1 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
FINALLY someone did a bit of research, instead of New Kingdom stylistics! :w00t!:
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:iconpollux-pictures:
Pollux-Pictures Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well done! This is a great portrait of Cleopatra :)
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:iconkelleybean86:
kelleybean86 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! :)
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