A & A art and architecture spacer courtauld institute of art spacer
quick search advanced search browse temp folder
Banquet of Cleopatra
enlarge image zoom image

Banquet of Cleopatra


Alessandro Allori (1535 - 1607)

Height: 44.3 cm; Width: 30.5 cm;


Inscription, stamped, ink:
collector's mark of Rey de la Villette, Lugt 2200a
Ink and pen, verso, N.20

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt Fund; purchase; 1963 (June)

About this work
Squared for transfer and enlargement, this composition is a study for one of the oval shaped paintings decorating the studiolo (study room) of Francesco de’ Medici in the Palazzo Vecchio of Florence. Its subject is based on the quarrel between Cleopatra and Marc Anthony, recorded by the classical author Pliny the Elder, over who could give the most lavish feast. Demonstrating her wealth, the queen melted in wine a priceless pearl from her earrings. To stop Cleopatra from destroying her second pearl the referee of the wager announced her as the winner. (Permanent collection label)

This work is not on display
While we make every effort to ensure this information is correct, displays are subject to last-minute changes.

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

spacer spacer spacer spacer