The Death of Cleopatra

  • Edmonia Lewis, The Death of Cleopatra, carved 1876, marble, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Historical Society of Forest Park, Illinois, 1994.17

Luce Center Label

Cleopatra (69 - 30 BCE), the legendary queen of Egypt from 51 to 30 BCE, is often best known for her dramatic suicide, allegedly from the fatal bite of a poisonous snake. Here, Edmonia Lewis portrayed Cleopatra in the moment after her death, wearing her royal attire, in majestic repose on a throne. The identical sphinx heads flanking the throne represent the twins she bore with Roman general Marc Antony, while the hieroglyphics on the side have no meaning.

Title
The Death of Cleopatra
Artist
Date
carved 1876
On View
Dimensions
63 x 31 1/4 x 46 in. (160.0 x 79.4 x 116.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the Historical Society of Forest Park, Illinois

Mediums Description
marble
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • State of being – death – suicide
  • Ethnic – Egyptian
  • Animal – reptile – snake
  • Figure female – full length
  • History – ancient – Egypt
Object Number
1994.17
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

modeled 1866, carved 1872
marble
modeled 1866, carved 1872
carved marble
modeled ca. 1872, carved 1876
marble
1875
carved marble
ca. 1866
carved marble

More Artworks from the Collection

2007
mixed media
1986
glazed ceramic
modeled 1941, cast 2001
bronze