The Banquet of Cleopatra (1653)

The Banquet of Cleopatra - Jacob Jordaens

A satire by Flemish painter, Jacob Jordaens. The dog in front is clearly begging for scraps. But so are the humans pressed round Cleopatra – they want sexual, political, professional, and business favours rather than food, and their need is just as great. Jordaens implies no distinction between their cravings.

The unlikely top dog among these competing supplicants is asleep on Cleo’s lap.