The painting in Hannibal’s dining room is Leda and the Swanby François Boucher created in 1740. 

Leda was a queen of Sparta in Greek mythology. Zeus admired her beauty, transformed himself into a swan and seduced/raped her (this was obviously all right, because he is a god). The same night she also shared a bed with her husband, so there was not a conclusive way to find out who is the father of each of four children born from the resulting eggs. However, it is believed that one of the daughters - Helen of Troy - is the daughter of Zeus. 

Leda and the Swan is common motive in both renaissance  and baroque art. Other depictions can be found for example here.

It is a bit of bestiality porn, but it is all right as well, because it is art :-). I just have to wonder - if this is what have Hannibal in dining room… what paintings must be in his bedroom? ;)


It is also reference to Hannibal, the novel (thanks to reblogging fans to pointing it out):
“His absentee landlord apparently had a fixation on Leda and the Swan. The interspecies coupling was represented in no less than four bronzes of varying quality, the best a reproduction of Donatello, and eight paintings. One painting in particular delighted Dr. Lecter, and Ann Shingleton with its genius anatomical articulation and some real heat in the fucking.“

All descriptions of paintings in Hannibal are here.


Let’s talk about those sketch books with colored dots in Hannibal’s library - the notes about all his patiens.

Dressing the set… the books alone took days and days. Of course they had to be organized by subject. I spent an entire day with an assistant creating a complex system of colored dots on the spine of 700+ sketch books that I decided Lecter would use for his patient notes… the dots identifying the patients and their conditions. (source)

Noticeable, too, were the black notebooks with color-coded dots on Hannibal’s shelves. “Patti’s idea was that this was Hannibal’s filing system in order to keep his patients’ records confidential. Patti, for the last year, has curated the Stanley Kubrick exhibit that’s currently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The dot filing system was inspired by the Kubrickian card catalog,” Loretta explained. (source)

So what we know:

  • Each sketch book has one big dot and zero to four small dots.
  • The colors are: green, red, blue and yellow.
  • Mathematically you can create: 4* (1 + 4 + 4*4 + 4*4*4 + 4*4*4*4) = 1364 combinations (the math is mine and may be wrong, sorry :)).
  • The dot + coloring code identifies a patient AND his or her conditon (well, its also possible, that Hannibal has in his Memory Palace additional information about what each combination means not only the algorithm).
  • Will’s sketch book has one big red dot and one small red dot. 
  • If you look closely at the sketch books behind Hannibal, there are a lot of big red dots but I can see no small ones - Will is unique again.
  • The bottom row in the bookcase in fron of which is Hannibal standing has no small dots - probably empty sketchbooks waiting to be filled.
  • The most upper row in the bookcase are the sketch books lying, not standing - is it significant? Patient he no longer has? Eaten ones (yes, I vote for eaten ones)?

I didn’t manage to find the additional information about the dots code system, if you know please tell me so I can add it here :).


Reference to Hannibal, the novel in Su-zakana:

“You’re quite beautiful, Clarice.”

“Looks are an accident, Dr Lecter.”

“If comeliness were earned, you’d still be beautiful.”


“Do not say `Thanks.”

A fractional turn of his head was enough to dash his annoyance like a glass thrown in the fireplace.

“I say what I mean,” Starling said. “Would you like it better if I said `I'm glad you find me so.’ That would be a little fancier, and equally true." She raised her glass beneath her level prairie gaze, taking back nothing.

It occurred to Dr Lecter in the moment that with all his knowledge and intrusion, he could never entirely predict her, or own her at all. He could feed the caterpillar, he could whisper through the chrysalis; what hatched out followed its own nature and was beyond him. He wondered if she had the .45 on her leg beneath the gown.


Ooooh, how I enjoyed this scene! Absolutely delicious (pun intended). The only downfall is that we can’t have it in future with Clarice.

More book references.


Hannibal’s drawing comes from the painting Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus (1855) by the Russian realist Nikolai Ge.

Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge (his French ancestors’ last name was de Gay) was a Russian realist painter famous for his works on historical and religious motifs. The fate of many of his works remains a mystery. At the end of his life Ge bequeathed all of his works to his Swissbenefactress Beatrice de Vattville in exchange for a small rent during his lifetime. She died in 1952 but none of Ge’s work were found in her castle. Among the lost works is Ge’s supposedly magnum opus painting The Crucifixion. Ge’s drawings were found by art collectors in Swiss secondhand stores as late as 1974. (Have somebody remembered Hannibal Rising as well? :))

The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus is a key element of the myths associated with the Trojan War.  When the tide of war turned away from the Acheans, and the Trojans threatened their ships, Patroclus convinced Achilles to let him don Achilles’ armor and lead the Myrmidons into combat. In his lust for combat, Patroclus pursued the Trojans all the way back to the gates of Troy, defying Achilles’ order to break off combat once the ships were saved. Patroclus was stunned by Apollo, wounded by Euphorbos, then finished off by Hector. At the time of his death, Patroclus had killed 53 enemy soldiers.

After retrieving his body, which had been protected on the field by Odysseus and Ajax , the enraged Achilles returned to battle and avenged his companion’s death by killing Hector. Achilles then desecrated Hector’s body by dragging it behind his chariot instead of allowing the Trojans to honorably dispose of it by burning it. Achilles’ grief was great and for some time, he refused to dispose of Patroclus’ body; but he was persuaded to do so by an apparition of Patroclus, who told Achilles he could not enter Hades without a proper cremation. Achilles sheared off his hair, and sacrificed horses, dogs, and twelve Trojan captives before placing Patroclus’ body on the funeral pyre.


Hannibal’s Memory Palace

As once we visited Dr Lecter in the Palazzo of the Capponi, so we will go with him now into the palace of his mind …

The foyer is the Norman Chapel in Palermo, severe and beautiful and timeless, with a single reminder of mortality in the skull graven in the floor. Unless he is in a great hurry to retrieve information from the palace, Dr Lecter often pauses here as he does now, to admire the chapel. Beyond it, far and complex, light and dark, is the vast structure of Dr Lecter’s making. 

The memory palace was a mnemonic system well known to ancient scholars and much information was preserved in them through the Dark Ages while Vandals burned the books. Like scholars before him, Dr Lecter stores an enormous amount of information keyed to objects in his thousand rooms, but unlike the ancients, Dr Lecter has a second purpose for his palace; sometimes he lives there. He has passed years among its exquisite collections, while his body lay bound on a violent ward with screams buzzing the steel bars like hell’s own harp.

Hannibal Lecter’s palace is vast, even by medieval standards. Translated tothe tangible world it would rival the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul for size and complexity.

- Thomas Harris, Hannibal the novel

More book references.


This painting in Hannibal’s waiting room is The Raft of the Medusa by the French Romantic painter and lithographer Théodore Géricault. 

The Raft of the Medusa, an oil painting completed when the artist was 27, the work has become an icon of French Romanticism. It depicts a moment from the aftermath of the wreck of the French naval frigate Méduse, which ran aground off the coast of today’s Mauritania on July 5, 1816. At least 147 people were set adrift on a hurriedly constructed raft; all but 15 died in the 13 days before their rescue, and those who survived endured starvation and dehydration and PRACTICED CANNIBALISM.

The event fascinated the young artist, and before he began work on the final painting, he undertook extensive research and produced many preparatory sketches. He interviewed two of the survivors, and constructed a detailed scale model of the raft. His efforts took him to morgues and hospitals where he could view, first-hand, the colour and texture of the flesh of the dying and dead. As the artist had anticipated, the painting proved highly controversial at its first appearance in the 1819 Paris Salon, attracting passionate praise and condemnation in equal measure. However, it established his international reputation, and today is widely seen as seminal in the early history of the Romantic movement in French painting.

The painting was acquired by the Louvre soon after the artist’s early death at the age of 32

The painting is also mentioned in The Silence of the Lambs while Hannibal is being questioned by Senator Martin:

“Give me an age and a physical description, anything else you can remember,” Major Bachman said.
Dr. Lecter simply went away. He thought about something else— Géricault’s anatomical studies for The Raft of the Medusa-–and if he heard the questions that followed, he didn’t show it.
When Senator Martin regained his attention, they were alone in the room.

It’s both the reference to the books and displaying another of Hannibal’s private jokes - publicly displaying his fascination with cannibalism.

Sending love and puppies to xshiromorix for identifying the painting! :-)


All descriptions of paintings in Hannibal are here.


The mural in Hannibal’s dining room is Landscape: Woods Reflected in a Pond by Oscar Grosch. It depicts a pond in front of the wooded, grassy area where the pond is reflecting the trees. 

Oscar Grosch (1863 - 1928) was a wood engraver who emigrated with his wife to Staten Island from Germany in 1889 and became an etcher and a painter.

The ideas for decorating the living room are explaned here in the interview with the production designer Patti Podesta:

The dining room is to die for. What was the inspiration?

Bryan suggested a living wall for the dining room, and carrying this idea further, I thought to use a landscape as a backdrop. I found this etching online and loved its Gothic tone. It’s by Oscar Grosch and is in the collection of the Staten Island Museum, which granted us permission to use it. It was reproduced as wallpaper, with corresponding strips covering shallow box shelves, floating on the wall.

The plants are all live herbs in containers. The shelves get smaller in size as they rise up the wall because the plants on the lower levels need to receive light in order to survive.

The walls made of moldings were Bryan Fuller’s idea. He had seen them in a restaurant. For ours, I chose moldings that had voluptuous curves. We wanted it to become a singularity, and the color needed to be the indigo of the night sky, without going black on camera. It’s a lighter blue than you would imagine. The stain was a mixture of Minwax custom colors, and the different woods gave it variation.

Sending love to xshiromorix for identifying the mural! :-)


All descriptions of paintings in Hannibal are here.

Hannotations Masterpost

Masterpost of my Hannotations, I will add another ones here, so bookmark page with this post if you don’t want to miss anything. Each category is updated chronologically as I made the posts, so the newest hannotations are at the end of the list.


Novels references





Reference to Hannibal the novel in Tome-wan (S02E12):

It occurred to Dr Lecter in the moment that with all his knowledge and
intrusion, he could never entirely predict her, or own her at all. He could
feed the caterpillar, he could whisper through the chrysalis; what hatched out
followed its own nature and was beyond him. He wondered if she had the .45 on her leg beneath the gown.

Clarice Starling smiled at him then, the cabochons caught the firelight and
the monster was lost in self-congratulation at his own exquisite taste and


More book references.


Reference from The Silence of the Lambs, the novel in Shiizakana:

Am I evil, Officer Starling?“

"I think you’ve been destructive. For me it’s the same thing.”

“Evil’s just destructive? Then storms are evil, if it’s that simple. And we have fire, and then there’s hail. Underwriters lump it all under ‘Acts of God.’ ”


“I collect church collapses, recreationally. Did you see the recent one in Sicily? Marvelous! The facade fell on sixty-five grandmothers at a special Mass. Was that evil? If so, who did it? If He’s up there, He just loves it, Officer Starling. Typhoid and swans— it all comes from the same place.”


Oh my dear Special Agent Starling! How this confuse me! That thrilling feeling of recognizing the book reference mixed with anticipation and loss of not having this possible again in season with Clarice. :)

More book references.


This painting in Hannibal’s office is a lithograph by Peltro William Tomkins of Robert Smirke’s painting The Seven Ages of Man, First Age: The Infant.

Robert Smirke (1752 - 1845) was an English painter and illustrator, specialising in small paintings showing subjects taken from literature and was a member of the Royal Academy.

Robert Smirke’s The Seven Ages of Man is a series of paintings derived from a monologue from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII. The phrase begins as all the world’s a stage. The stages referred are: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, pantaloon and old age. Painted between 1798 and 1801, they depict the journey of life in its various forms. They were produced for the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, and engravings by various artists based on Smirke’s paintings were included in the gallery’s folio edition of Shakespeare’s work.

This painting depicts the first stage, infancy, described as In this stage the man is born as a helpless baby and knows little but waiting as a man in embryo to spring out. In the As You Like It, it refers to:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms

It’s not the only litograph from The Seven Ages of Man used in the show as another one has Hannibal in his home (look forward to next art hannotation).

Another Robert Smirke’s painting called Desert Place near the Sea from A Winter’s Tale, Act III, Scene III has Hannibal in his kichen.

All these three Smirke’s paintings are in the folio of Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, as well as Coriolanus by Gavin Hamilton in Hannibal’s office. 

Sending love and puppies to xshiromorix for identifying (with Bryan’s and Hugh’s help, so love and puppies for them too) the painting! :-)


All descriptions of paintings in Hannibal are here.


This painting in Hannibal’s office… is not a painting :-) But a photo. (However I keep it in this category as I think that renaming it to ‘things hanging on wall in Hannibal’ or dividing it would not be fruitful :-)).

It is the photo of demonstrational operation performed by Vincenz Czerny. Vincenz Czerny (1842 – 1916) was born in Trutnov, Bohemia, Austro-Hungarian Empire (fun fact - this city is in the republic I am from and name Czerny is derived from 'black’). He was a German Bohemian surgeon whose main contributions were in the fields of oncological and gynecological surgery. 

Couple of medical facts: Czerny developed operational techniques for cancer surgery. In 1887 he performed the first open partial nephrectomy for renal carcinoma. He made contributions to other surgical fields, including a new radical operation for inguinal hernia, a pyelolithotomy for kidney stone disease, and in 1879 performed the first total hysterectomy via the vagina. He has been called the “father of cosmetic breast surgery”: in 1895 he published the first account of a breast implant which he had carried out, by moving a benign lipoma to “avoid asymmetry” after removing a tumor in a patient’s breast.

All descriptions of paintings in Hannibal are here.


Dvaras - is the Lithuanian word for manor or estate. It means that the roots for Dr. Lecter portrayed in the show will indeed be the same as in the books. (In the books Hannibal lived in Lithuania - Lithuanian father, Italien mother, so maybe the italien part will be the same). The question is whether this shot will be used in memories of his memory palace. 

Snake in the coat of arms - The serpent is a symbol of wisdom and defiance. In addition, a symbol of fertility and renewal. Because of its forked tongue, it was also associated with lightning and the sun. Snakes represent the knowledge.

Wings in the coat of arms - Symbolizes swiftness and protection.

I’m afraid I kind very well recognize those two animals on the side - it may be some kind of cat judging by the pointy ears, however there were more suggestion by my fellow fannibals, so let’s hear what would mean what:

  • Cats symbolize liberty, vigilance and courage.
  • Wolves means valor and guardianship. Wolves were considered to be cruel and merciless.
  • Fox is a symbol for a person of his wisdom, ingenuity, wit and wisdom for his use own defense.
  • Dog is the symbol for courage vigilance and fidelity.

This painting in Hannibal’s kitchen (yeah, yeah, while someone may be watching the fight, I am mesmerized by the paintings around :D - no, don’t worry I am just kidding, Hannibal’s butt takes the precedence everywhere ;)) is called A Winter’s Tale, Act III, Scene III, Desert Place near the Sea by Robert Smirke.

Robert Smirke was an English painter and illustrator, specialising in small paintings showing subjects taken from literaure. He was a member of the Royal Academy.

The Winter’s Tale is a play by William Shakespeare. I am afraid I am not very familiar with it, so I raided the wiki and the likes:  It was originally published in the First Folio of 1623. Although it was grouped among the comedies, some modern editors have relabelled the play as one of Shakespeare’s late romances. Some critics consider it to be one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays”, because the first three acts are filled with intense psychological drama, while the last two acts are comedic and supply a happy ending. (source: wiki)

I really hope that the last sentence will apply to the show! Three acts are filled with intense psychological drama, while the last two acts are comedic and supply a happy ending. (Obviously now we are in the first three acts. And I want my happy ending! Welll… of course it is to be discussed what would a happy end in this show mean, wink wink ;)).


All descriptions of paintings in Hannibal are here.


From Hannibal, the novel:

At Sotheby’s in New York, he purchased two excellent musical instruments, rare finds both of them. The first was a late eighteenth-century Flemish harpsichord nearly identical to the Smithsonian’s 1745 Dulkin, with an upper manual to accommodate Bach - the instrument was a worthy successor to the gravicembalo he had in Florence. His other purchase was an early electronic instrument, a theremin, built in the 1930s by Professor Theremin himself. The theremin had long fascinated Dr Lecter. 


He has poured himself a glass of wine in his new crystal and set it on a candle stand beside the harpsichord. The wine’s bouquet mixes with the salt air and Dr Lecter can enjoy it without ever taking his hands from the keyboard. 

He has in his time owned clavichords, virginals, and other early keyboard instruments. He prefers the sound and feel of the harpsichord; because it is not possible to control the volume of the quill-plucked strings, the music arrives like experience, sudden and entire. Dr Lecter looks at the instrument, opening and closing his hands. He approaches his newly acquired harpsichord as he might approach an attractive stranger via an interesting light remark - he plays an air written by Henry VIII, “Green Grows the Holly.”


More book references.

The music in the final scene of Hannibal Savoureux is  Vide cor Meum.

It is composed by Patrick Cassidy based on Dante’s “La Vita Nuova”, specifically on the sonnet “A ciascun'alma presa”, in chapter 3 of the Vita Nuova and first appeared in Hannibal, the movie. 


Chorus: E pensando di lei
Mi sopragiunse uno soave sonno

Ego dominus tuus
Vide cor tuum
E d'esto core ardendo
Cor tuum
(Chorus: Lei paventosa)
Umilmente pascea.
Appreso gir lo ne vedea piangendo.

La letizia si convertia
In amarissimo pianto

Io sono in pace
Cor meum
Io sono in pace
Vide cor meum


Chorus: And thinking of her
Sweet sleep overcame me

I am your master
See your heart
And of this burning heart
Your heart
(Chorus: She trembling)
Obediently eats.
Weeping, I saw him then depart from me.

Joy is converted
To bitterest tears

I am in peace
My heart
I am in peace
See my heart

Listen on youtube


This painting in Hannibal’s dining room is a lithograph by John Ogborne of Robert Smirke’s painting Much ado about nothing, act IV, scene II, Dogb.: O villain! Though wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.

Robert Smirke (1752 - 1845) was an English painter and illustrator, specialising in small paintings showing subjects taken from literature and was a member of the Royal Academy.

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedic play by William Shakespeare which is generally considered one of Shakespeare’s best comedies, because it combines elements of robust hilarity with more serious meditations on honor, shame, and court politics. 

The scene depicts constable Dogberry saying: “O villain! Though wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.” Where he used the word "redemption" instead of “damnation” creating the comical irony since he means precisely the opposite. I think that the sentence in whole depicts the Hannibal show quite nicely, our villain is condemned into everlasting damnation… or is it redemption?

There are two more Robert Smirke’s paintings in the show: The Seven Ages of Man, First Age: The Infant (previous art Hannotation) in Hannibal’s office and Desert Place near the Sea from A Winter’s Tale, Act III, Scene III in Hannibal’s kichen.

All these three Smirke’s paintings are in the folio of Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, as well as Coriolanus by Gavin Hamilton in Hannibal’s office.

Sending love and puppies to xshiromorix for identifying (with Bryan’s and Hugh’s help, so love and puppies for them too) the painting! :-)


All descriptions of paintings in Hannibal are here.


While (not really patiently) waiting for season 3 and Lady Murasaki, let’s talk about the art in Hannibal’s bedroom (left side this time)

The first one is “Hōryūkaku (芳流閣)” by Utagawa Kunisada from 1852. The scene depicts the battle on the roof of Horyu Tower at Koga castle between Inukai Genpachi Nobumichi and Inuzuka Shino Moritaka from the early 19th century novel, “Nansō Satomi Hakkenden (南総里見八犬伝)” - “Tale of the Eight Dogs”.

Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese: 歌川 国貞; also known as Utagawa Toyokuni III (三代歌川豊国); 1786 – 12 January 1865) was one of the the most popular, prolific and financially successful designer of ukiyo-e woodblock prints in 19th-century Japan. In his own time, his reputation far exceeded that of his contemporaries, Hokusai, Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi.  

We already spoke about the second one here.

The third one is “Sesshū Ajikawaguchi Tenpōzan (摂州安治川口天保山)” - “Mt. Tenpō (or Tenpōzan) at the mouth of Aji River in Sesshū Province”, dated 1834. It belongs to the series “Shokoku Meikyō Kiran (諸国名橋奇覧)” - “Remarkable Views of Bridges in Various Provinces” by Katsushika Hokusai from 1827–1830.

Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎?, October 31, 1760 (exact date questionable) – May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. He was influenced by such painters as Sesshu, and other styles of Chinese painting.

Ukiyo-e, or ukiyo-ye (浮世絵; “pictures of the floating world”), is a genre of woodblock prints and paintings that flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries. Aimed at the prosperous merchant class in the urbanizing Edo period (1603–1867), depictions of beautiful women; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica were amongst the popular themes.

Woodblock printing in Japan (Japanese: 木版画, moku hanga) is a technique best known for its use in the ukiyo-e artistic genre; however, it was also used very widely for printing books in the same period. Woodblock printing had been used in China for centuries to print books, long before the advent of movable type, but was only widely adopted in Japan surprisingly late, during the Edo period (1603-1867). Although similar to woodcut in western printmaking in some regards, the moku hanga technique differs in that it uses water-based inks—as opposed to western woodcut, which often uses oil-based inks. The Japanese water-based inks provide a wide range of vivid colors, glazes, and transparency.

The Edo period (江戸時代 Edo jidai), or Tokugawa period (徳川時代 Tokugawa jidai), is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country’s 300 regional Daimyo. The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, environmental protection policies, and popular enjoyment of arts and culture.

Sending huge thanks and love to xshiromorix for identifying the pieces and help with information! :)


All descriptions of paintings in Hannibal are here.