Some of the world’s leading museums such as the Vatican Museums, The British Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris have forged a powerhouse exhibition inspired by the beguiling and controversial character that is Cleopatra. It delineates the crossover of cultures between ancient Egypt and Rome and the changes that brought about the Queen of Egypt’s reign as the last pharaoh and lover of the most renowned ruler of Rome, Julius Caesar. The exhibition is divided into nine sections with 180 ancient Roman and Egyptian statues, busts and religious objects including the magnificent Head of Cleopatra dated to the second half of the first century B.C. Other artefacts depict the Egyptian animals and the gods and goddesses that were exotic and enticing to Romans and inspired a kind of copycat culture. The exhibition illuminates how these two world powers had intertwining destinies with the fulcrum of this devastating siren. Cleopatra, lover to an entranced Caesar, was at his villa in Trastevere when he was fatefully assassinated. His two heirs were to fiercely battle among themselves for the throne of Egypt with Mark Antony under Cleopatra’s spell, but her side was the losing one. They are said to have both committed suicide shortly after Egypt fell to Augustus (Octavian), which led to the passing of culture and would further enhance what became ‘Egyptomania’ in Rome.
Chiostro del Bramante
Via Arco della Pace, 5. Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat & Sun 10am-9pm
entry fee €13/11 – chiostrodelbramante.it
From 12 October 2013 till 2 February 2014