Cleopatra and her court (Cleopatra en su corte)

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Cleopatra and her court (Cleopatra en su corte)

A crowned Cleopatra receives news from a member of her court.

The Court

A crowned Cleopatra receives news from a member of her court characterized by a turban, while her ladies, placed on both sides, listen with concern. The scenes in the upper part show struggles, and two crowned, seated characters – Mark Anthony and Cleopatra- appear next to a nearby open building with a structure of arcs and pillars, under which there is a lion behind bars.

Unmarked and isolated

The tapestry lacks any marks identifying its origins and manufacture, although its style would point to Brussels workshops. The border, typical of the 2nd half of the 16th century, includes the personification of virtues which are known through their inscriptions: SPES (Hope), FIDES (Faith), TEMPERANTIA (Temperance) and IVSTITTIA (Justice), thus pointing to a determined moralizing intention.

Hung over the entry door to the Corpus Christi chapel, its contemplation is not easy, and it may even go unnoticed, since it is usually only spotted on the way out.

Series Mark Anthony and Cleopatra

Model Cartoon attributed to Pieter Coecke van Aelst

Manufacture Brussels?, 2nd half of 16th century

Fabric Silk and wool

Size 310 x 435 cm

Origin A bequest to the cathedral in 1651 by Archdeacon Juan de Ayala Guzmán

Location Corpus Christi chapel in the cathedral of Burgos


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