Pietro da Cortona: Battle between Alexander the Great and Darius III (1644-1650)
(Capitoline Museum, Rome, Italy)
Pietro da Cortona (1596/7-1669) was an important Italian painter from the 17th century. This painting shows the Battle of Issus (November 5, 333 BC). On the left with red cape and an eagle above his head is King Alexander III 'the Great' of Macedon, on the right in the fantasy chariot sits king Darius III of Persia. The direct confrontation between Alexander and Darius was an important moment during the battle. Alexander led his Companion cavalry to a direct assault against Darius and his bodyguard which resulted in Darius fleeing from the battlefield. This broke the morale of the Persian army who abandoned their positions and fled in full rout. Painting from 1644 - 1650.