In 1888, the British painter John William Waterhouse concluded the artwork entitled Cleopatra. It was during this same year that the artist finished one of his best-known paintings named The Lady of Shalott, portraying the character Elaine of Astolat of an Arthurian legend – a subject he explores immensely. Waterhouse began his career as an academic painter studying in London at the prestigious Academy of Art, influenced by artists like Lawrence Alma-Tadema. With time, Waterhouse started to increase the size of his canvas and go against some impositions of the Academy – eventually turning to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Although he joined the Brotherhood many years after it was formed, Waterhouse became one of the most important painters of the movement. Three initial artists merged to form the group on the year Waterhouse was born; Sir John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Although there was a difference in age from the first to the second generation of the Pre-Raphaelites, the spirit of the Brotherhood was maintained until the turn of the century.
In Cleopatra, the artist portrays the strong and powerful queen of Egypt. Her figure always brought mystery, and many artists have imagined her in various ways – usually with an exuberant beauty. Waterhouse’s approach to her historical figure is slightly different. He used strong facial traits, making her beautiful but intimidating at the same time. She seems to sneer, pulling her lips sideways and tilting her head forward while she lays back on her chair. The shadow cast over her eyes gives the model more of a severe appearance. She stares into the distance with a fixed glare.
Cleopatra’s garment is white and regal, with a flowing fabric pinned on each shoulder and a golden cloth wrapped around her waist. The model’s dark hair is pulled back, and she wears a golden tiara with leaves on the side. The pillows and fabrics she lays upon feature a mixture of a simple pink textile, with a golden-brown jaguar print. In a laid-back, but still dominant position, the queen places one hand on her hip, and the other rests on a lion head. The back wall is gold with Egyptian carvings of a large bird wing that is partially seen, as well as some detailed black flower patterns behind the chair.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Cleopatra 651888, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Cleopatra 651888 that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.