Who was Cleopatra and why are we so fascinated by her? Historians tell us she was not very spectacular looking but really who knows? She had two of the world’s most powerful men as lovers. There must have been something extraordinary about her. Perhaps it was her nobility. We moderns are always looking to reclaim our innate sense of nobility, our deep desire to feel that we are important and that our lives matter. We read books, go to movies, enjoy art depicting mythical and contemporary superheroes, kings and queens. We love this stuff, gobble it up. Why?
Karl Jung seemed on the right track when he said we all have archetypes within us that need to be acknowledged, perhaps to be tapped into, lived out as much as possible. We can’t really be super-beings and monarchs, but we can discover within us a part that is noble, spiritual, valuable, true and virtuous. It is our birthright.
Last spring I became fascinated with studying the birth charts of Vivien Leigh and Lawrence Olivier, their great, yet tragic, love life together and I watched some movies they made.
I wanted to portray nobility, beauty, “love”, sensuality in a portrait. All of these currents came together in this portrait of Vivien Leigh, based on a photo of her in the movie “Caesar and Cleopatra” with Claude Rains as Julius Caesar. A great movie it is based on George Bernard Shaw’s play of the same name.
Giclee prints available at my website http://www.artbyinglis.com

Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra

Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra

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