Cleopatra and Antony Enjoying Supper, from The Story of Caesar and Cleopatra

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After a design by Justus van Egmont (1601–1674)
Woven at the workshop of Gerard Peemans (1637/39–1725)
Flanders, Brussels

Cleopatra and Antony Enjoying Supper, from The Story of Caesar and Cleopatra, c. 1680

Wool and silk, slit and double interlocking tapestry weave
321.9 x 362.0 cm (126 3/4 x 142 5/8 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Chauncey McCormick and Mrs. Richard Ely Danielson, 1944.17

To impress Antony, Cleopatra promised to organize the most lavish supper he had ever attended. The meal itself was ordinary, but at its end, Cleopatra dissolved a pearl in a cup of vinegar and drank it. This event was not recorded by Plutarch; it derives from Pliny’s Natural History (1st century A.D.).

— Exhibition label, The Divine Art: Four Centuries of European Tapestries, November 1, 2008–January 4, 2009, Regenstein Hall.