Paintings such as this were made for the homes of rich, refined patrons of the arts. Cleopatra, the legendary Queen of Egypt killed herself for love. She is shown here without her traditional asp, revealing her royal status by precious jewels and opulent 18th century dress. Her bare breast alludes to her death, now close at hand. Cairo was another artist influenced by the dramatic lighting of Caravaggio’s paintings, which he saw while he was a court painter in Turin.