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Guido Reni (Bologna 1575-Bologna 1642)

Cleopatra with the Asp c. 1628

RCIN 405338

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Palma Giovane asked his friend and fellow artist Guido Reni to create a painting of Cleopatra, to be judged in competition with his own works and those of Niccolò Renieri and Guercino. The painting depicts the final moments of Cleopatra, as she succumbs to the bite of the snake held against her breast. Reni did not win the competition, but Renieri later bought the painting.