The Death of Cleopatra

As queen of Egypt from 51 - 30 B.C., Cleopatra VII was an intelligent ruler whose fame came from her political and romantic alliances with the Roman leaders Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. However, she is best remembered for her legendary final act. Her forces defeated in battle, Cleopatra chose to submit to the deadly bite of an asp rather than humiliation by her enemies.

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The Death of Cleopatra
modeled ca. 1874-1875, carved 1876
Italian marble
63 x 31 1/4 x 46 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Historical Society of Forest Park, Illinois

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Copyright 1996 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Date Last Modified: September 03, 1996