Although the subject was traditionally thought to be the Feast of Anthony and Cleopatra, this is in fact a preparatory drawing, with differences and in reverse, for Esther accusing Haman in the presence of Ahasuerus, a composition which was painted by de Lairesse and engraved by Pieter van den Berge (1659-1737) circa 1675-80 (Sotheby's, New York, 17 January, 1992, lot 117; A. Roy, Gérard de Lairesse 1640-1711, Paris, 1992, no. P 98 and fig. 98a; Fig. 1). The drawing is stylistically very close to Abraham and the Three Angels, itself also a preparatory study for a picture sold in Paris in 1990 (Roy, op. cit., no. P 209). That drawing was sold at Christie's, London, 6 July 1999, lot 162.
Fig. 1. Gerard de Lairesse, Esther accusing Haman in the presence of Ahasuerus, present location unknown.