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!
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?
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!
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...
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.
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!
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...
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.
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.)
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].
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
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.
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.
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!
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
FACT: There is no concrete evidence of who Cleopatra mother was and DNA testing concluded that her younger sister Arsinoe was of both Greek and Egyptian background. It is also recorded that her father Ptolemy XII Auletes mother was a Syrian concubine so the theory of Cleopatra being 100% Greek is FALSE & not a FACT... Nice picture by the way