Series

Fame, Feast and Femme Fatale: The Banquet of Cleopatra

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at 17th to 18th Century European Paintings Gallery, Level 2, NGV International

The History

The legend of Cleopatra has everything: opulence, power, seduction and celebrity.

The audacious power plays and tumultuous love affairs of the last queen of Egypt have captivated artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers for more than 2000 years.

The Banquet of Cleopatra (1743-44) by Giambattista Tiepolo is a prized painting in the NGV Permanent Collection. Discover the provenance and meaning of Tiepolo’s scene of outrageous extravagance across three Sundays in October, with talks and performances each week hosted by senior curator Ted Gott.

Giambattista Tiepolo’s Banquet of Cleopatra scene is drawn from Pliny’s account of the feast in his book, Natural History. How reliable was Pliny’s version of events, and how did Tiepolo’s work become part of NGV’s collection?

This event is presented in partnership with NGV.

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Who?

Portrait of Ted Gott

Ted Gott

Ted Gott is Senior Curator of International Art at the National Gallery of Victoria. After studying at the University of Melbourne, the British Museum, Northwestern University and the Art Institute of Chicago, he previously worked at the Robert Holmes-à-Court Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Australia.

He has curated and co-curated more than 25 exhibitions, including The Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay (2004), Kiss of the Beast: From Paris Salon to King Kong (2005), Modern Britain 1900-1960 (2007), Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire (2009), Napoleon: Revolution to Empire (2012), Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great (2015), Degas: A New Vision (2016) and Van Gogh and the Seasons (2017).

He has published widely on Australian, British and French art, and in 2013 co-authored a cultural history of the gorilla in 19th and 20th Century art, literature, scientific discourse and cinema (Gorilla, Reaktion Press, London).

Portrait of Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Matt Smith works as a writer, podcaster and freelance journalist. He hosts and produces the podcasts Emperors of RomeWhen in RomeAsia Rising and Biography. He occasionally travels through time and space, and is currently working on his second novel.

Portrait of Rhiannon Evans

Rhiannon Evans

At La Trobe University, Dr Rhiannon Evans teaches Ancient Mediterranean Studies – in particular, the literature and culture of Ancient Rome and its empire, as well as the Latin language and Greek and Roman mythology. She studies Roman literature of the 1st centuries BCE and CE, from Julius Caesar to the early emperors of Rome, and is especially interested in what they can tell us about ancient Romans’ views of their own and other people’s cultural identity. She has published several articles on ancient ethnicity, and a book on Roman culture and utopias.

Fame, Feast and Femme Fatale: The Banquet of Cleopatra

The legend of Cleopatra has everything: opulence, power, seduction and celebrity.

The audacious power plays and tumultuous love affairs of the last queen of Egypt have captivated artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers for more than 2000 years.

The Banquet of Cleopatra (1743-44) by Giambattista Tiepolo is a prized painting in the NGV Permanent Collection. Discover the provenance and meaning of Tiepolo’s scene of outrageous extravagance across three Sundays in October, with talks and performances each week hosted by senior curator Ted Gott.

This event is presented in partnership with NGV.

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