Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851). Exhibited 1812. Oil on canvas, 1460 x 2375 mm. Courtesy of Tate Britain (Accession no. NO0490. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856). Click on image to enlarge it.

Commentary from Tate Britain Online (2010)

For Turner, the figure of Hannibal – here leading his armies to attack Italy – had powerful associations with Napoleon. These connections had been explicitly drawn in an official portrait of Napoleon about to lead his own armies across the St Bernard Pass. Snow Storm, however, does not celebrate the power of the individual, but expresses man’s vulnerability in the face of nature’s overwhelming force. Hannibal himself is not pictured, and attention is focused upon victims of the conflict, the struggling soldiers.

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Last modified 14 May 2016