It was not uncommon for illustrations in history books to depict famous events from the past. Van Loon similarly depicted historical events, but what is striking in these drawings are the “historical moments” he chooses to draw. Van Loon would draw the “moment before” an important event, for example, the moment before William the Silent is actually murdered, Columbus’ galleon before landing at the New World, or the Pilgrims huddled in the cabin of the Mayflower before their arrival at Plymouth Rock. The most interesting of these drawings is that of Peter the Great, represented by van Loon not as an imposing autocrat but during his trip to Western Europe, where the Czar labored in a Dutch shipyard.

"Hannibal Crosses the Alps," p. 99

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