Joseph Mallord William Turner
Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps exhibited 1812

Artwork details

Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps
Date Exhibited 1812
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1460 x 2375 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
On display at Tate Britain

Display caption

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.

February 2010