Artist: Fran├žois Geubels
Title: The History of Hannibal: The Spoils of Cannae, 1540-1560

Wool, Silk, Tapestry
139 x 168 in. (353.1 x 426.7 cm)
The Irene Leache Memorial Collection, in memory of Anna Cogswell Wood, 1850-1940

Hannibal, shown at center dressed in armor, was one of the greatest military commanders of his time. He wanted to expand his country, Carthage, into Northern Africa, so he took his army to war against the Romans. To fight them, Hannibal and his soldiers had a difficult journey. His army (including 37 war elephants!) marched through Spain, then crossed Europe’s largest mountain ranges, the Pyrenees and the Alps. The Romans tried to stop Hannibal at Cannae, a city on Italy’s eastern coast, but lost. This tapestry marks Hannibal’s victory there in 216 B.C., but it was created more than 1,700 years later. It was woven in Belgium in the workshop of François Geubels. Tapestries like this once hung on the walls of churches and castles. The stories they show came from many sources, some from very long ago.