Here are photos from an exhibition I went to in Rome at the Chiostro del Bramante, including some never-before-seen busts of Kleo found in the bowels of the Vatican Museum and other private collections. It seems that she was neither as beautiful as myth suggested nor as ugly as that singular coin which shows her with a huge nose and witch-like chin. In these busts, I see an intense, attractive, determined woman with typically strong Greek features—high cheekbones, full lips, wide-set eyes, slim face, and a hook to her prominent nose. I was particularly touched by the delicacy of the bust thought to be Young Kleopatra. See my captions to identify the pieces.
The exhibition was gorgeous and focused on her relationship to Rome, making the point that the real queen was not a mad temptress but a highly skilled, righteous ruler vilified by the Romans yet loved by her people (supporting the theme of my books, I might add). Glad that history is finally coming over to my side.
Click on any image to see the larger size.