LE BRUN, Charles
(b. 1619, Paris, d. 1690, Paris)

Crossing the Granicus

Oil on canvas, 470 x 1209 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This vast canvas is part of a series of four commissioned by Louis XIV from Le Brun. It is a cartoon for a tapestry woven at the Gobelins manufactory in Paris.

The painting shows the moment when the Macedonian troops crossed the river Granicus (in present-day Turkey) to fight the Persians, in 334 BC. As Alexander advanced on his horse Bucephalus, Cleitus the Black saved his life by warding off the threatening blow. Le Brun’s painting draws the viewer into the heart of the battle.

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