There's been speculation about that painting in Admiral Adama's quarters ever since BSG's first season. Humorist and sci-fi fiend John Hodgman, who wrote about the show for The New York Times Magazine, is obsessed with it, and the burned, broody painting has been dissected carefully on both BSG forums and Wikipedia. All of which made us wonder: What was the real-life inspiration for the 12 Colonies' last surviving piece of neo-classical battle art? A little digging unearthed a Renaissance classic.

Let the speculation begin.


Image Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, Moscow

It's by Giulio Romano, an Italian painter of the late Renaissance. Titled "The Battle of Zama," it shows the Romans defeating Hannibal in Tunisia. The palette is too bright for it to be a perfect match with the "Monclair" of the First Cylon War, but the graphic organization, with the banners, the mayhem, and the three distinct vertical masses in the background, are similar.

Of course, the dude who created it may disagree. But you've got to admit the resemblance is amazing.


Photo Eike Schroter/SCI FI Channel