The battle of Zama (202 BC) pre-determined the outcome of the Second Punic War, when the Roman forces defeated those of Carthage. In the collection of the Gotskovskii family it was attributed to Giulio Romano, while in the Hermitage it was defined as a copy of his work. The idea behind this picture can be traced back to the composition by Raphael and Giulio Romano which has not survived, but motifs from it were used in Giulio's drawing (1523-4) held in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford). In it is depicted an elephant by the name of Hanno, which had been presented by the King of Portugal to the Vatican Court. Other drawings by Giulio Romano with this motif are also known and engravings as well.
Provenance: acquired by the Hermitage from the collection of I.E. Gotskovskii (Berlin) in 1764; sold at an auction on instructions from Tsar Nicholas I in 1854; in the collection of L.K. Zubalov (Moscow) till 1914; donated by his son, L.L. Zubalov to the Rumyantsev Museum in 1917; in the Pushkin Museum since 1924.