(b. 1593, Antwerpen, d. 1678, Antwerpen)

Cleopatra's Feast

Oil on canvas, 156 x 149 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

The painting depicts the legendary banquet of Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra organized a feast in a bet that she could spend the largest fortune on a meal. Although the fare was simple, Cleopatra defeated Antony by dissolving one outsized pearl earring in acid and swallowing the drink.