Cleopatra VII, the most famous Cleopatra, dresses up as the goddess Isis to appeal to her Egyptian subjects. Most of the time I draw Cleopatra in Greek clothing to reference the Macedonian side of her heritage, so this is the first time I’ve given her a native Egyptian outfit. Whereas most Ptolemaic rulers before her shunned the indigenous Egyptian culture, Cleopatra VII actually went out of her way to learn the native language and reach out to the Egyptian people. The classicist Sally Ann-Ashton has even argued that Cleopatra identified more with Egypt than any other culture, analogous to how Barack Obama and other biracial people tend to choose a Black identity for themselves today.
As for Cleopatra’s green eyes, I wanted to channel the model Tyra Banks with this depiction.