The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra by Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Sale N08738 19th Century European Art including an Important Collection of Sculpture– New York
May 5, 2011
Sotheby’s Lot Notes –
“PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
SIR LAWRENCE ALMA-TADEMA, O.M., R.A.
THE MEETING OF ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA: 41 BC
signed L. Alma Tadema and inscribed OP. CCXLVI (at lower center on barge railing)
oil on panel
25 3/4 x 36 inches
65.5 by 91.4 cm
Alma-Tadema's The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra: 41 BC, depicts one of the most iconic moments in Roman - Egyptian history, and the artist turned to Shakespeare – not translated ancient texts — for inspiration. Between 1850 and 1912, the Bard's Antony and Cleopatra was regularly staged at London's theatres, and the Egyptian queen was fully entrenched in the public's mind —particularly for her intoxicating beauty and the power and tragic romance it attracted (Barrow, p. 116).
In the present work, Alma-Tadema favors a quiet, nuanced moment in Shakespeare's drama: a strong memory recalled after the legendary lovers have been separated (Act II, scene ii, Swanson, Catalogue Raisonné, p. 219).”
Estimated price: $3,000,000 - $5,000,000
Price realized: $29,202,500
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