Oil on canvas. Signed: GL.
Gerard de Lairesse painted multi-figural historical and mythological scenes which were often complemented by classical architecture in the background. This architecture usually features well-executed perspective. The artist also had exceptional skill at detailed, accurate depictions of furniture, carpets, and drapery.
In this painting, de Lairesse has portrayed a grand banquet with the most select members of society. The most prominent feature, achieved by the use of light and bright colours, is Cleopatra, who is partly clothed in a richly draped blue garment. She looks playfully in the direction of Mark Antony, who stands at a distance in a dancing stance. The rest of the scene is executed in more earthy tones and the other figures gradually blend into the background. The entire scene takes place indoors with a view of the garden through an arcade. In addition to high-ranking men and women of high society, there are also servants, children, and a dog; in the background, there is a statue of Mercury with his winged hat and cane and a statue of Neptune with his trident.