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
Ink and pen, verso, N.20
1963 (June); purchase;
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
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Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London