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DateLecture
11 February 2020Cleopatra- The most Womanly of Women, and the Most Queenly of Queens
10 March 2020Threads of History : The World of the Bayeux Tapestry
14 April 2020Wassily Kandinsky and the path to Abstraction
12 May 2020The Art and Culture of Fin-de-siecle Vienna
09 June 2020'A courageous and skilled shot’: Montenegro’s photographer princess, Ksenia Petrović-Njegoš (1881–1960)
08 September 2020Frida Kahlo: A Life in Art

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Cleopatra- The most Womanly of Women, and the Most Queenly of Queens
Lucy Hughes-Hallett Tuesday 11 February 2020

Cleopatra, the woman for whose love’s sake Antony is imagined to have given up the chance to rule the Roman world, has been inspiring painters, poets and (more recently) film-makers for over two millennia. Their gorgeously voluptuous depictions of her offer insights into changing concepts of beauty, and into the racial and sexual assumptions underlying them. Showing images ranging from Roman portrait busts, through medieval illuminations, the glorious works of Renaissance masters like Michelangelo, the splendour of Tiepolo and the exoticism of Gustave Moreau to 20th century film stars (Theda Bara, Claudette Colbert, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor and the Carry On team’s Amanda Barrie), Lucy will show how Cleopatra became a screen onto which artists have projected their wildly differing fantasies about exotic danger and erotic bliss.

Lucy Hughes-Hallett is the author of The Pike: Gabriele d’Annunzio - which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize and the Costa Biography Award - and of Cleopatra and Heroes. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Historical Association, she has reviewed for all of the UK’s serious newspapers and for Radio 3’s Night Waves, judged five literary prizes, and spoken at numerous literary festivals. She teaches Creative Writing at Arcadia University and at Arvon.