The New Face of Cleopatra (Photoshop Reconstruction)





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Uploaded on Nov 15, 2011


*Project requested by user/geoffreyprince

This is my third (and last) restoration of the bust of Cleopatra. It goes without saying that the legend of Cleopatra's beauty absolutely refuses to die, and scores of viewers are dismayed and angry that her beautiful personality and wit did not translate themselves into good looks by our exacting standards. She was described as captivating, diplomatic, charismatic, inventive, and by example, romantic with a particularly pleasant and melodious voice . Her true physical appearance, when bothered to be mentioned, simply said that Cleopatra had a long, hooked nose, a thick neck, a receding chin, and despite her gender, very masculine features. It was said many times that her appearance lent nothing to her prowess as a successful leader, but those around her quickly found that the finest beauty was no match for the excellent political and personal qualities that Cleopatra possessed and used to best advantage as her role as leader, and it was those qualities that made her very attractive.

NOW, then...I have been receiving arguments that Cleopatra's image, particularly on coins, is not of Cleopatra VII but of her presumed mother, Cleopatra V. (Where's VII and who was she? Well, according to scholars, if she existed at all, she would have been the daughter of Cleopatra V by her first marriage who may have died in childhood OR she was the alter ego of Cleopatra V herself. There isn't enough information to prove either theory and Cleopatra VII's mother is still officially unknown. Some speculate that Cleopatra VII's mother was in fact an Egyptian noblewoman from the High Priest family of Memphis whom Ptolemy XII, Cleopatra VII's father, took as a wife the same year Cleopatra VII was born, but her name is unknown.) My simple argument is this: people of importance get recognized. It was not easy for a woman to be imprinted on a coin unless she was a widely-known and admired leader, Heroin, or Goddess. By virtue of those facts alone, Cleopatra's mother is a near-nonentity in the political or public spotlight. No accomplishments, no triumphs, no history-changing negotiations. She was a casual presence in the shadow of Cleopatra VII's father, Ptolemy XII, and it is a struggle for scholars to find any mention of her. What little power she might have had was removed in 69 B.C. several months before Cleopatra VII was born, according to some, (leading to the theory of the new wife stepping in and taking her place) and her name vanishes from history completely by 57 B.C. when Cleopatra was barely over 10 years old. Take from this what you will, but there seemed to be some sort of unpleasant reason that Cleopatra's mother might have disappeared. Whether by death, divorce (as we know it now) or disgrace, what little proof of her existence that might have been kept at the time had all but disappeared by the time modern scholars became interested in her again centuries later.

Photo obtained by permission from http://www.archart.us/


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