Art Gallery

The life of Hannibal and the history of the Punic Wars has produced a number of works of art, both paintings and sculpture.

Paintings of Republican Rome

Aldegrever - Hannibal fighting Scipio
Hannibal fighting Scipio, 1538, engraving, laid paper ribbed, 4,6 x 19,8cm. The print is probably slightly earlier than the date in the inscription, but not earlier than 1532, as it bears certain similarities to an engraving by Barthel Beham from that year (Bartsch no.70)
The battle in the print is probably the battle of Zama (202 BC) in which Hannibal, chief commander of Carthaginian armies in the Second Punic War, was defeated by Scipio Africanus.
photography: copyright Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie
Wassenburgh - 'The Continence of Scipio'
Oil on canvas by Jan Abel van Wassenbergh, dated 1705. Jan Abel van Wassenberg was a painter of portraits and genre, born at Groningen in 1689, dying there in 1750. He was a pupil of Adriaen van der Werff, and Wassenberg's work shows the influence of that artist. His
Bust of Hannibal
Bronze bust of Hannibal in baroque style; heavy black patina. Man with curly hair, wearing cuirass with Gorgon head in center, mounted on a turned marble base. Height 68.5 cm.
The inventory of the works of François Girardon (1628-1715, sculptor to Louis XIV and decorator of the palace at Versailles), indicates that a bronze bust of Hannibal was at one time in the collection. Donated to the Louvre at one time, its whereabouts were later unknown and this bronze may indeed be that very sculpture. It bears a striking resemblance to the engraving in Girardon's inventory, though it may also be a copy of Girardon`s Hannibal, done by Sebastien Slodtz (1655-1726), Girardon's student and protegé. The bust is, nonetheless, an original seventeenth century bronze portrait, and, according to Girardon's inventory, modelled after some ancient portrait of Hannibal.  There is however a remarkable similarity between this work and the portraits of the Severan and Antonine emperors both in the facial features and in the genre.
Capitoline wall - Hannibal on a war elephant
ca. 1980-1997 Rome, Italy
A mural in the "Hall of Hannibal" in the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Capitoline Museum in Rome.
© Massimo Listri/CORBIS
Wilson - Ponte Alpino built by Hannibal
Richard Wilson 1713-1782 British from Oppé Collection
Pencil on paper (Dy) support 287mm x 217mm on paper, unique
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
Turner - Hannibal crossing the Alps
Bonascone - The Wounded Scipio
Giulio di Antonio Bonasone (engraver), Italian , 1498 - 1558
after Polidoro da Caravaggio, 16th century
Engraving 20.3 x 26.9 cm (image) inches
Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts

Giulio di Antonio Bonasone. Born in Bologna, dates of birth and death uncertain. A painter, engraver, and etcher. Prints dated between 1531 and 1574. 
Batoni, Pompeo- The Continence of Scipio
From the Renaissance onwards The Continence of Scipio was an extremely popular subject in European art. Batoni's canvas forms a pair with Thetis Takes Achilles from the Centaur Chiron, likewise commissioned by Catherine the Great and also in the Hermitage. The two works are similar both in composition and in colouring. Scipio wears a deep pink cloak - this is the colour of the victorious hero - as he returns the girl to her kneeling beloved, while the white dress of the prisoner symbolizes her innocence. There are various marvellously painted vases in the foreground: Batoni was a jeweller in his youth and he loved to make small, detailed, elegant still lifes through the introduction of extraneous items.
Oil on canvas. 226.5x297.5 cm Italy. Circa 1771/72
Source of Entry: Gatchina Palace Museum. 1926
Bellini - The Continence of Scipio
Dell'Abatte - The Continence of Scipio
Dell'Abate, Niccolò (Italian, practiced mainly in France, 1509-1572) , canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Reynolds - The Continence of Scipio
Oil on canvas. 239.5x165.5 cm Britain. 1789 In 1785 the British diploma Lord Carysfort was entrusted with a commission to Reynolds for two paintings, one for Catherine the Great of Russia, and the other for her favourite friend and adviser, Prince Grigory Potemkin. The artist himself was to choose the subject. For Potemkin's painting, Reynolds settled on a subject from Livy's "History of Rome", showing virtue and great restraint (or "continence") as Scipio returns a beautiful captive Carthaginian woman to her fiance. This was a very obvious hint at the virtue of Potemkin himself - a renowned general, he led the Russian army in numerous campaigns against Turkey.
The composition is based on a contrast between the powerful figure of the hero, calm and unshaking, and the tender captive, almost fainting at the horror of what she thinks lies before her. The painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1789 and met with a mixed reaction. Some criticised the overloaded composition as a major defect, others noticed the beautiful colouring, "equal to the finest works of the Flemish School".
Van Dyck - The Continence of Scipio
Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Flemish, 1599-1641) :
One of Van Dyck's most important "history paintings", it was probably commissioned in 1620-21 by George Villiers, Ist Duke of Buckingham and favourite of James I. Although it ostensibly represents a classical subject it is thought to be an allegory of the difficult circumstances surrounding the marriage of Buckingham to Lady Katherine Manners, and the figures holding hands are likely to be portraits of the couple. Like his master Rubens, Van Dyck had a keen interest in antiquity, and he invokes the world of ancient Carthage with the inclusion of a Roman frieze copied from a piece known to have been in the Earl of Arundel's celebrated collection of antiquities.
'The Continence of Scipio' - Jan Abel van Wassenbergh
'The Continence of Scipio' Oil on canvas by Jan Abel van Wassenbergh, dated 1705. Jan Abel van Wassenberg was a painter of portraits and genre, born at Groningen in 1689, dying there in 1750. He was a pupil of Adriaen van der Werff, and Wassenberg's work shows the influence of that artist. His work is represented in the Museums of Amsterdam, Emden and Groningen
Tiepolo - Scipio freeing Massiva
Scipio Africanus Freeing Massiva Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice, 1696-1770) ca. 1720 Oil on canvas (transferred from original canvas) 110 x 191 15/16 in. Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902 37.657 In this early masterpiece, Tiepolo combines dramatic gesture, grand scale, and classical architecture to create an image of generosity and statesmanship that was well suited to adorn the walls of a patrician palace in Venice. The subject has been identified as an episode from the life of Scipio Africanus, a Roman general of the late 3rd century B.C., whose statesmanship and foreign conquests made him a popular subject for monumental painting in 17th-century Venice.
Triumph of Scipio - Gaspard de Cruyer
Aldgrever - Sophonisbe drinking poison
Sophonisbe drinking poison, 1553, engraving , laid paper ribbed, 11,5 x 7,2cm State: Signed: 1553/ AG Inscription: Masinissa Scipionis cosilio Sopho/ nisben numidie regina relinquens,/ ne in manus Ro. incideret venen/ u ei misit quo hausto expirauit. inv.
Sophonisba's death is a popular theme among Baroque painters of Italy and northern Europe.Sophonibe (Sophonisbe) was a Numidian princess (died 203 BC), daughter of Carthaginian commander Hasdrubal, engaged to Numidian king Masynissa. Later married his enemy Syphax to obtain peace with Carthago. After imprisonment of Syphax by Romans she became a wife of Masynissa, who gave her poison to save her from humiliation.
Photography: copyright Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie
Caroto - Sophonisba Drinking the Poison
Oil on wood Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona; CAROTO, Giovanni Francesco (b. 1488, Verona, d. after 1562)
Sophonisba was the daughter of a Carthaginian general at the time of the second Punic war. She married a prince of neighbouring Numidia, allied to Rome, and succeeded in alienating him from his Roman masters. But he was captures by another Numidian leader Masinissa, who in turn fell in love with Sophonisba, and likewise married her. To prevent the loss of a second ally from the same cause the Roman general Scipio demanded that she be surrendered and sent captive to Rome. Her husband, not daring to defy Scipio, sent her a cup of poison which she drank. 
Pajou - Regulus sets out for Carthage
Pajou Jacques Augustin
Paris, 1766 ; Paris, 1828. Admitted to the Academy, he was above all an exponent of history painting and portraits.
Regulus Sets Out for Carthage. Oil; 112 cm x 151 cm. Signed, dated: Pajou fils 1793 . Held hostage by the Carthaginians, the Roman consul Regulus had been given the chance to negotiate peace with Rome for Carthage in exchange for his freedom. Not only did Regulus advise Rome to continue the war, but, refusing to break his promise, he returned to Carthage where he was tortured and put to death. Paris, Musée du Louvre. 
Penni - Battle of Zama
Giovanni Francesco Penni. Louvre Museum
Zama - Tapestry
a 16th-century tapestry depicting the Battle of Zama.
Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, Spain.
The Battle of Ticinus
Follower of Giulio Romano Mantua circa 1558 Distemper on paper mounted on canvas RF 44339 Cartoon of a piece of the wall-hanging of Scipio woven at Brussels circa 1558 for Jacques d'Albon, Maréchal de Saint-André, favourite of the King of France, Henri II (Hearst Collection, San Simeon, California). The subject is inspired by the Histories of Livy and Polybius. In 218 BC, during a battle on the Ticinus in the north of Italy, the young Scipio saved his father, Consul Publius Cornelius Scipio, wounded during the combats which opposed the Romans and the Carthaginians led by Hannibal.
Quintus Fabius Maximus before the senate of Carthage, Tiepolo, Giambattista.
Oil on canvas. 387x224 cm Italy. Circa 1730 Source of Entry: First Branch of the State Hermitage Museum (former Museum of the Stieglitz School). 1934
Dionisio Dolfin, Patriarch of Aquileia, commissioned a series of ten paintings on themes from Roman history (five of which are now in the Hermitage) for his Venetian palace, known as the Ca' Dolfin. In this work, the artist chose the scene in which Rome declared war on Carthage (Livy, Roman History, II, 6). Rome sent an embassy to the Senate at Carthage under the leadership of Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus (273-203 BC), known as Cunctator (the delayer). The embassy was protesting the seizure by Carthage of a town allied to Rome. Since the senators refused to answer the protest, Quintus Fabius asked them what they would chose, war or peace? The senators chose war.
An excerpt from the Epitome of Roman history (II, 6) by Florus is to be seen at the top of the painting. It reads "When the Carthaginians refused to answer, the leader of the embassy Fabius: What is the delay? Here I bring you war and peace. Which do you choose?' In answer to their cry of ? War!' he replied: Thus you shall have war', shook out before the whole gathering a fold of his toga, and let it go, not without a shudder, as if indeed he carried war in that fold. Tiepolo sets the main hero with his back to the viewer, allowing us only to guess at the expression on his face. This device was used repeatedly in the series of paintings for the Ca' Dolfin, and creates an impression of heightened emotional tension.
Caius Marius amid the ruins of Carthage
John Vanderlyn American , 1775 - 1852 , 1807 oil on canvas
Turner - Dido building Carthage
Turner - Decline of Carthage
Pesellino - Allegory of Rome
Francesco Pesellino (Francesco di Stefano), From De Secundo Bello Punico Poema by Silius Italicus, 1447-1457
Gouache, gold leaf, pen and ink, watercolour on parchment 28.7 x 20.2 cm
This is one of the six Florentine miniatures in the Hermitage made to decorate the codex of the epic poem by Silius Italicus (25-101 AD), which tells the story of the Second Punic War. The manuscript appears to have been commissioned sometime between 1447 and 1455 by Pope Nicholas V, whose portrait appears in one of the miniatures. Later it turned up in Venice in the church of SS Giovanni e Paolo, from whence it was transferred to the Library of St Mark’s, where it is kept to this day. At the end of the 18th century, however, when the manuscript was still in the monks’ care, the larger illustrations (apart from seven) were taken out to be sold and were soon acquired by representatives of the Russian court. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersberg, Russia.
Pesellino - L'allegorie de Carthage
Pesellino, Francesco di Stefan 1447