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Lady Elizabeth Howard (1656–1681), Lady Felton, as Cleopatra

Photo credit: National Trust Images

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Cleopatra held a banquet for her lover Mark Antony, and when he expressed surprise at its magnificence she removed a priceless pearl from her ear and dissolved it in her glass of wine which she then drank. This was, apparently, to indicate her indifference to luxury. Lady Felton, in a suggestive pose and wearing loose clothing, plucks one of her large pearl earrings and we suppose she is going to place it in the gold goblet she is holding.

National Trust, Kingston Lacy

Wimborne Minster


Date

1678–1689

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 114.5 x W 84 cm

Accession number

1257081

Acquisition method

bequeathed by Ralph Bankes, 1981

Work type

Painting


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Normally on display at

National Trust, Kingston Lacy

Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 4EA England

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