Life and Art of Artemisia Gentileschi > Cleopatra > Next Painting



Oil on canvas

1.18m by 1.81m

Amedeo Morandorri, Milan.

The Painting.

This dramatic nude dates from Artemisia's Genovese period and pictures the Egyptian queen at the moment of committing suicide. Cleopatra prefers death by asp bite rather than public display behind the chariot wheels of Octavius, soon to be Augustus Caesar, Rome's first emperor. Bissell and others believe that Orazio Gentileschi painted the agonized pose, but Garrard attributes it to Artemisia because of stylistic similarities to her Lucretia and Magdalene.

The Artist's Life.

This was a busy time of Artemisia with much travel between Genoa and Rome. She spent some time in Venice in the early 1620's seeking commissions.

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