The last queen of Egypt arrives in the Eternal City in the shape of an exhibition on one of the most fascinating, intelligent and controversial women in history: Cleopatra VII (69-30 AD). Inaugurated on the 12th of October and running through February 2 at Rome’s Chiostro del Bramante museum, the show is curated by Giovanni Gentili and is divided into nine sections, displaying 180 artifacts on loan from prestigious national and international museums including Turin’s Egyptian Museum, the Vatican Museum, the British Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris.

The show includes world premieres of the so-called ‘Nahman’ portrait of Cleopatra; a portrait of Octavia, who was Mark Anthony’s wife and Emperor Augustus’ sister; and a portrait of the Egyptian queen at a very young age, probably dating from her ascent to the throne in 51 AD.

The Louvre has sent an extraordinary ‘Guimet’ bronze portrait of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra’s son, Alexander the Great; and the spectacular but little-known Nile mosaic is on loan from the Priverno Museum.

The exhibit investigates Cleopatra’s relationship with Rome (46-44 AD), when, aged just a little over twenty, she conquered Julius Caesar and then Mark Anthony. A true star of her time, Cleopatra’s presence had a cultural as well as political impact that made her into an immediate icon.