Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Wicked Queen

Cleopatra Testing Poisons on Condemned Prisoners (1887) by the French painter Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889). The beautiful but cruel Cleopatra watches cold and impassively the effect of poison on some poor prisoners. The painter also makes great efforts with the exotic dress and the Egyptian architecture in the background, which he probably knew by the then very popular prints of the paintings by David Roberts.


  1. Many thanks for this work. I don't know how accurate the historical elements of the story are, but it is a beautiful, painterly object.

    Where is this particular painting by Alexandre Cabanel? Where else are his works displayed?

  2. Cabanels works are to be seen in all bigger museums in Europe. This one is in Antwerp.
    I think the whole scenery, pose and story are pure fantasy. But because of this it's kind of pre Hollywood. Look, how dramatically the poor guy is dying, that happens only on stage.