12 Months of MakeupMakeup Number 5: June "I will not be triumphed over."
- CleopatraDaughter of Isis
After the panelists weighed in for the month of June, it was decided that I would create a Cleopatra Makeup
, and I got well under way to strategize the makeup and shoot.
The history of Cleopatra is a fascinating one; I know this will be a long read, but it is worth it to understand why I feel such a connection to her strength and tenacity:
Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt as co-regent (first with her two younger brothers – in marriage - and then with her son) for almost three decades. She became the last in a dynasty of Macedonian rulers founded by Ptolemy, who served as general under Alexander the Great during his conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C. Well-educated and clever, Cleopatra could speak various languages and served as the dominant ruler in all three of her co-regencies. Her romantic liaisons and military alliances with the Roman leaders Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, as well as her supposed exotic beauty and powers of seduction, earned her an enduring place in history and popular myth.
Once ascended to the throne with her brother as a co-regent, a feud began and Cleopatra was forced to flee the capital. Meanwhile, Julius Caesar arrived at Alexandria in the summer of 48 B.C., and found himself drawn into the Egyptian family feud. For decades Egypt had been a subservient ally to Rome, and preserving the stability of the Nile Valley, with its great agricultural wealth, was in Rome's economic interest. Caesar took up residence at Alexandria's royal palace and summoned the warring siblings for a peace conference, which he planned to arbitrate. But Ptolemy XIII's forces barred the return of the king's sister to Alexandria. Aware that Caesar's diplomatic intervention could help her regain the throne, Cleopatra hatched a scheme to sneak herself into the palace for an audience with Caesar. She persuaded her servant Apollodoros to wrap her in a carpet (or, according to some sources, a sack used for storing bedclothes), which he then presented to the 52-year old Roman.
The image of young Cleopatra tumbling out of an unfurled carpet has been dramatized in nearly every film about her, from the silent era to a 1999 TV miniseries, but it was also a key scene in the real Cleopatra's staging of her own life. "She was clearly using all her talents from the moment she arrived on the world stage before Caesar," says Egyptologist Joann Fletcher.
Like most monarchs of her time, Cleopatra saw herself as divine; from birth she and other members of her family were declared to be gods and goddesses. Highly image-conscious, Cleopatra maintained her mystique through shows of splendor. Cleopatra had strongly identified herself with the goddess Isis, the sister-wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. (This was consistent with the ancient Egyptian tradition of associating royalty with divinity in order to reinforce the position of kings and queens. Cleopatra III had also claimed to be associated with Isis, and Cleopatra VII was referred to as the “New Isis.”)
Though Hollywood versions of her story are jam-packed with anachronisms, embellishments, exaggerations and inaccuracies, the Cleopatras of Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh and Claudette Colbert do share with the real queen a love of pageantry. "Cleopatra was a mistress of disguise and costume," says Fletcher. "She could reinvent herself to suit the occasion, and I think that's a mark of the consummate politician."
When Cleopatra emerged from the carpet—probably somewhat disheveled, but dressed in her best finery—and begged Caesar for aid, the gesture won over Rome's future dictator-for-life. With his help Cleopatra regained Egypt's throne. Ptolemy XIII rebelled against the armistice that Caesar had imposed, but in the ensuing civil war he drowned in the Nile, leaving Cleopatra safely in power.
After the assassination of Caesar, Cleopatra once again needed to solidify her grip on Egypt. Egyptian custom decreed that Cleopatra marry her remaining brother, Ptolemy XIV, but with her allied gone she had him killed to ensure she stayed in power. She also had her sister dispatched to prevent her son’s succession to the throne with her. Such ruthlessness was not only a common feature of Egyptian dynastic politics in Cleopatra's day, it was necessary to ensure her own survival and that of her son. With all domestic threats removed, Cleopatra set about the business of ruling Egypt, the richest nation in the Mediterranean world, and the last to remain independent of Rome.
What kind of pharaoh was Cleopatra? The few remaining contemporary Egyptian sources suggest that she was very popular among her own people. Egypt's Alexandria-based rulers, including Cleopatra, were ethnically Greek, descended from Alexander the Great's general Ptolemy I Soter. They would have spoken Greek and observed Greek customs, separating themselves from the ethnically Egyptian majority. But unlike her forebears, Cleopatra actually bothered to learn the Egyptian language. For Egyptian audiences, she commissioned portraits of herself in the traditional Egyptian style. In one papyrus dated to 35 B.C. Cleopatra is called Philopatris, "she who loves her country." By identifying herself as a truly Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra used patriotism to cement her position.
Cleopatra's foreign policy goal, in addition to preserving her personal power, was to maintain Egypt's independence from the rapidly expanding Roman Empire. By trading with Eastern nations—Arabia and possibly as far away as India—she built up Egypt's economy, bolstering her country's status as a world power. By allying herself with Roman general Mark Antony, Cleopatra hoped to keep Octavian, Julius Caesar's heir and Antony's rival, from making Egypt a vassal to Rome. Ancient sources make it clear that Cleopatra and Antony did love each other and that Cleopatra bore Antony three children; still, the relationship was also very useful to an Egyptian queen who wished to expand and protect her empire.
Though some modern historians have portrayed Cleopatra as a capable, popular Egyptian leader, we tend to imagine her through Roman eyes. During her lifetime and in the century after her death, Roman propaganda, most of it originating with her enemy Octavian, painted Cleopatra as a dangerous harlot who employed sex, witchcraft and cunning as she grasped for power beyond what was proper for a woman. The poet Horace, writing in the late first century B.C., called her "A crazy queen...plotting...to demolish the Capitol and topple the [Roman] Empire." Nearly a century later, the Roman poet Lucan labeled her "the shame of Egypt, the lascivious fury who was to become the bane of Rome."
After Roman tempers cooled, the Greek historian Plutarch published a more sympathetic biography. Cleopatra became a tragic heroine, with love of Antony her sole motivation. Over the next two millennia, countless paintings and dramatizations—including Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra and John Dryden's All for Love—focused on the fantastic details of her suicide after Octavian defeated Antony. We know almost certainly that Cleopatra, along with her two most trusted servants, killed herself on August 12, 30 B.C., to escape capture by Octavian. However, since the facts of her death were unclear even to the men who found the bodies, we will never know if it was the famous asp that killed the queen, or a smuggled vial of poison. The asp legend has prevailed, however, and the image of her death, more than anything else, gave Cleopatra immortality.
Most info from: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/who-was-cleopatra-151356013/?page=1
A woman who could reinvent herself, use her charisma to win over a nation that she was not truly born into, and used her talents to be successful in her 3 decades of rule.
This power manifests itself as anything from an enemy's equipment failure to hitting just the right switch with a stray shot to shut down an overloading nuclear reactor.
The makeup was pretty straight forward with a palette of golds, blues and teals. I used bronze contouring powders and also some soft highlighters to go for that Egyptian glow. I used the many makeups done for Cleopatra and paintings of Isis as inspiration for what I created in this challenge.
In processing, I wanted glamour AND I wanted to keep the old paintings and hieroglyphic/papyrus/vintage feel. There is a great deal of a bronzing and old/scratchy look to the overlays.
I think it was a pretty good success despite all that I had stacked up against me.What is it all about?
At the start of the year, I polled a few friends about new project I wanted to start called #12monthsofmakeup
and what they thought. It was then that +Ralph Uy
added it might be fun to let a group of willing panelists (aka anyone who wanted to join in on the circle) choose and vote on the concept for the next month.
So, I asked for anyone interested to to make a comment stating their interest as well as ideas to go into the idea pool for February (as I had January already planned), and I received a few responses as well as ideas for February (and onward).
Now, I want to invite anyone publicly to join the group, if you wish, to share ideas and/or vote on the upcoming theme each month. All you have to do is say that you do, and you are added. Also, feel free to share ideas of makeups you wish to see me do.How it works:
The first of each month, I will share a list of concepts/themes for make up to the panelists circle to vote on.
There will be one full week to vote.
UPDATE: Since we have an abundance of ideas, we are now doing a fun voting death match so to speak. Certain themes go head to head until we reach a monthly winner!
After that week, the winning concept will be used in the month and the rest of the ideas go back into the pool for voting in the next month. During the winning concept/theme reveal, I will also ask for any new ideas.
At some point in the month, before the end, I will shoot the image and post it with the hashtag publicly for everyone to see.
At that time, people will also have time to join the panel if they wish by doing exactly what I asked this month.
If it catches on, I may even throw out some exclusive hang-out invites to panelists to watch me work my magic!
If I end up with any other rules or processes, I will add as I go, but for now...
Enjoy! ♥+Ralph Uy+Johannes S.+Tamara Pruessner+Chris Bagley+Eustace James+Tai Mi+Gary Munroe+Ricardo Williams+Kelly Richards+Jim Migliore+Measie Elizabeth+Ana Andres+Robert Hacker+Joanna Koziara