OIL PAINTING: Caesar and Cleopatra, 1866
This painting by gerome - Caesar and Cleopatra possesses unusual interest for the admirers of Gerome, as being on a larger canvas, and containing figures of a larger scale, than any of his finished easel pictures. To say that it is on canvas is, however, to strain a point, since it is painted, as we learn, on silk, and only backed with cloth for strength. It was ordered and executed for one of the sumptuous modern hotels of Paris, that of Mme. de Paiva, being intended as a transparency to be lowered or raised midway of a long saloon, which it was desirable to divide occasionally into two. Not accustomed to painting transparencies as may well be credited, Gerome failed to satisfy his capricious patroness, and the painting, fortified with canvas and very much cut down at the top, made its way into commerce. It is now installed as a centre-piece in a rich picture gallery decorated by Herter, in the country villa of Mr. D. O. Mills, at Millbrae, near San Francisco.