The complete designs for this series depicting The Battles and The Triumphs of Alexander the Great were submitted to the newly united Gobelins tapestry weaving manufactory by Charles LeBrun (1619 - 1690) in 1663. The set consisted of five main panels depicting The Battle at the Granicus, The Battle of Arbela, The Defeat of Porus, Alexander and the Family of Darius and The Triumph of Alexander, but the three battle scenes were of such proportions that the designs of each of these was divided into three separate panels, thus making a total of eleven subjects. This particular subject is the left part of The Defeat of Porus. Eight weavings of the series are recorded at the Gobelins manufactory. (M. Fenaille, Etat Gnral des Tapisseries de la Manufacture des Gobelins, Paris, 1903, vol. II, pp. 166 - 185).
The set was extensively copied in Brussels and Aubusson from engravings made before 1679 which were included in the volumes of the Cabinet du Roi. Two unsigned Brussels tapestries of this series are in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (E. Standen, European Post-Medieval Tapestries and Related Hangings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985, vol. I, p. 233, cat. 37), while further Brussels versions of this series by the weavers Jacob and Pieter van der Hecke, Geraert Peemans, Frans van der Borght and Jodocus and Marcus de Vos are recorded.
Porus (d. between 321 and 316 BC) ruled the region between the Hydaspes (where this battle took place in 326 BC) and Acesines rivers in Punjab. He resisted Alexander III the Great's (356 - 323 BC) invasion, but his slow moving infantry with elephants, which was the most threatening aspect to Alexander's cavalry, was out-matched by Alexander's quick-moving army. Alexander allowed Porus after his defeat to retain his kingdom and possibly even other conquered areas as Macedonian subordinate ruler.