T. Rex Crossing the Alps


This is how you get a BFA, folks! Well, it's one of the ways.

This painting was created as my thesis piece for the senior show at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago back in 2009. This is a parody of Jacques-Louis David’s "Napoleon Crossing the Alps" or "Bonaparte at the St. Bernard Pass" (1800.) It's based on the fourth version of the famous portrait, displayed at the Belvedere in Vienna. David’s original stands over 9 feet high, towering above our humble 3 by 4 foot beast, and depicts Bonaparte leading his army across a dangerous pass (despite actually trailing his forces by two days and riding a mule.)

The inscriptions on the rock below pay tribute to the Allosaurus and Tarbosaurus, two species that were initially thought to be T. Rex when discovered, but later believed to be distinct species. This is a nod to David’s similar inscriptions naming Napoleon with Charlemagne and Hannibal, generals who had previously traversed the Alps. I also signed on the bridle, mimicking David's own signature.

It currently resides in our living room, so if you have a free giant marble mantel over which this piece would look good, please get in touch!

Key features:

  • painted in acrylic

  • rad gilded frame

  • comes pre-loaded with the question, "is that a tiny T. Rex or a giant horse?"

rex in studio.jpg

paintingAaron HoffmanBFA, dumb, dinos