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Cleopatra’s Banquet

Cleopatra made a bet with Mark Antony on who could give the most lavish banquet. She won by dissolving a priceless pearl in vinegar and then drinking the mixture. De Lairesse painted this story like a scene from a play, situating the figures clad in antique costumes in a fitting décor of Classical architecture and furniture. His classicizing style breathed new life into Dutch painting.