Hour At The Museum: The Myth Of Cleopatra

PHOTO: PINACOTHEQUE ACADEMY CONCORDI AND PALAZZO ROVERELLA, ROVIGO
PHOTO: PINACOTHEQUE ACADEMY CONCORDI AND PALAZZO ROVERELLA, ROVIGO

The last queen of Egypt is the subject of Singapore Pinacotheque de Paris' latest blockbuster exhibition, The Myth Of Cleopatra. With close to 200 artefacts and artworks such as paintings and costumes from films, the show explores the myth of this legendary figure.


PHOTO: PINACOTHEQUE ACADEMY CONCORDI AND PALAZZO
ROVERELLA, ROVIGO

Cleopatra's Death (circa 1660)

By Sebastiano Mazzoni, oil on canvas, 75x110.5cm

Cleopatra took her own life in 30BC and her death was shrouded in mystery. Some say she was bitten by a deadly venomous snake. Artists in the 15th and 16th centuries explored her death through paintings of what they imagined might have happened.


PHOTO: COLLECTION COSTUMI D’ARTE – PERUZZI, ROME © PHOTO D. ALESSANDRO

Royal Coat Of Cleopatra (1963)

By Costumi d'Arte-Peruzzi, Rome, lame fabric of silk and gold

Actress Elizabeth Taylor played the titular character

in the 1963 movie, Cleopatra, which won the Academy Award for Best Costume that year. She wore this cloak in a parade through Rome.



PHOTO: COLLECTION COSTUMI D’ARTE – PERUZZI – ROME

Armour Of Marc Antony (1963)

By Costumi d'Arte-Peruzzi, Rome, painted leather, ornaments moulded in bronze, linen and velvet silk

This Roman general costume was custom-made for Welsh actor Richard Burton, who starred opposite Taylor. They were married from 1964 to 1974 and again from 1975 to 1976.



PHOTO: FONDATION DINO ET ERNESTA SANTARELLI, ROME

Portrait Of Cleopatra VII (middle of the 1st century BC)

Fine-grained white marble, 42x25x20cm

This statue is traditionally Hellenistic, with a "melon-like" hairdo typical of depictions of young goddesses then. It is made of marble, a rare material that was used for busts of important members of society.


PHOTO: ALTOMANI-MILAN,
PESARO

Cleopatra With The Asp (18th century)

By Jacopo Cestaro, oil on canvas, 44x34cm

This painting explores the circumstances leading to Cleopatra's death, depicting the queen, looking regal, holding an asp. She is also depicted with Greek facial features, though she is Egyptian.



PHOTO: MUSEE DES ANTIQUITIES, TURIN

Statue Of A Veiled Woman (Roman imperial age)

White marble and black stone, 108x70x55cm

This statue depicts a high priestess made of white and the more prized black marble. There are two distinct ibis bird's feet

on both sides of the sculpture, suggesting that she is Isis, the goddess of nature.



PHOTO: MUSEE
NATIONAL
D’ARCHELOGIE, FLORENCE

Funerary Mask (Ptolemaic period between 305 and 30BC)

Painted and gilded cartonnage, 40x35x20cm

This mask, made of papier mache, has its eyes painted as open instead of closed, signifying the Egyptian's belief in life after death. As it is gilded in gold, the mask is believed to be for a female of noble birth.



PHOTO:
SOPRINTENDENZA PER
I BENI ARCHEOLOGICI
DI NAPOLI

Snake-Bodied Bracelet (Between 1st century BC and 1st century AD)

Gold and emerald, 4x8.5cm

Part of a pair, this bangle features the asp, a venomous snake that was associated with royalty.

WHERE: Singapore Pinacotheque de Paris, 5 Cox Terrace
MRT: Dhoby Ghaut
WHEN: Till Oct 4
ADMISSION: Standard tickets: $6.50 (children aged three - six), $22 (adults); for Singaporeans orpermanent residents: free (children), $18 (adults).
INFO: pinacotheque.com.sg

Nabilah Said

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2015, with the headline 'HourAtTheMuseum'. Print Edition | Subscribe