Hanibal victorious contemplates Italy from the Alps (1771) by Francisco Goya

Hanibal victorious contemplates Italy from the Alps - Francisco Goya - 1771

Artwork Information

TitleHanibal victorious contemplates Italy from the Alps
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Art MovementRomanticism

About Hanibal victorious contemplates Italy from the Alps

The artwork entitled “Hanibal victorious contemplates Italy from the Alps” was crafted by the esteemed artist Francisco Goya in 1771. As a quintessential example of the Romanticism art movement, this history painting embodies the emotional fervor and emphasis on dramatic historical narrative that are hallmarks of the period.

In the artwork, we are presented with a scene of significant historical importance, depicting the Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca. The general is portrayed at a moment of contemplation as he gazes out over the landscape of Italy from the lofty heights of the Alps. The composition is rich with the drama of the moment, where natural elements and human presence converge to create a scene of profound contemplation and imminent conquest.

The central figure of Hannibal is mounted on a prominently featured horse, reinforcing his status as a leader and a figure of power. He is surrounded by other figures, which could be inferred as his loyal soldiers and officers, sharing in the moment of anticipation that the view of the Italian land conveys. The figures are rendered with dynamic brushwork, capturing the movement and atmosphere of the scene.

In the foreground, one can see a figure draped in red, kneeling or sitting on the rugged alpine terrain, exemplifying the Romantic fascination with the sublime in nature. The background is illuminated by a dramatic sky, suggestive of the turbulent times and the emotional intensity that this historical moment encompasses. Angels in the sky above blend the line between a historical event and the divine or mythic interpretation of Hannibal’s endeavors.

Overall, the artwork is characterized by a sense of grandeur and dramatic tension, evoking the awe and wonder of the Romantic era’s interest in the human experience set against the backdrop of epic historical exploits.

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