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point of sentiment. The draperies are naturally folded, and the work seems to have been painted at a single touch.
This picture, painted on canvas, is about three feet high, and four feet three inches wide,
THE DEATH OF CLEOPATRA.
CLEOPATRA was the daughter of Ptolemy-Auletes, king of Egypt. This prince, when dying, left the crown to the elder born of the two sexes, with an order that they should marry each other, according to the custom of his family; but Ptolemy-Dionysius, the brother of Cleopatra, desirous of reigning alone, did not hesitate to repudiate, and to banish his sister. Cleopatra was one of the most amiable, the most beautiful, and the best informed women of her time—she spoke all languages, and was never in need of an interpreter. When Cæsar went to Egypt she presented herself before him for justice against her brother, when, smitten by her numerous charms, he re-established her in her possessions. He had by her a son, named Cæsarion; and promised to convey her to Rome, and to marry her. On his arrival in that city, he caused the statue of his mistress to be placed in the temple of Venus, beside that of the goddess. Ptolemy being drowned in the river Nile, Cæsar confirmed the crown upon Cleopatra, and upon a brother of hers about eleven years old, whom this ambitious queen poisoned before he had attained his fifteenth year. After the death of Cæsar she declared in favour of the Triumvirate. Antony then beheld, and was incapable of resisting her seductive charms. The time which they passed together, whether at Tarsus or at Alexandria, was marked by festivals and entertainments of unparalleled magnificence. These plea
sures were interrupted by the departure of Antony for Rome. Cleopatra consoled herself, during the absence of her lover, by her studies. She re-established the Alexandrian library, which had been destroyed by fire a few years before, and enriched it with that of Pergamus, consisting of more than 200,000 volumes. Antony, upon his return to Alexandria, caused Cleopatra to be proclaimed queen of Egypt; but, having been defeated by Octavius at the battle of Actium, this princess deceived her lover, and to secure her crown, attempted to assume a conquest over the conqueror. In this hope she was deceived ; and, to avoid the disgrace of being carried to Rome in triumph, she applied an asp to her bosom, and died at the age of thirty-nine, in the year 80 B.J.C.
It is related that Cleopatra, after dressing herself in her royal vestments and placing herself upon her death-bed, expired suddenly, without any convulsion, by the virulence of the poison of the asp. The author of the picture bem fore us, M. Regnault, has made choice of this last mor ment. Charmion and Iras, the females who were the most attached to Cleopatra, are unable to survive her loss. One has already died by excess of grief, the other is expiring.