Saul, who reigned in the 11th Century BC, was the first King of Israel. He suffered from frequent black moods until he encountered David, who cured him with the music he played on his harp. When the Philistines with the giant Goliath attacked the Kingdom, Saul was the only one prepared to fight and kill Goliath. Saul was so grateful that he took David to live in his palace and promised his daughter to him. David's following success in the army made Saul so envious that he repeatedly tried to kill David. When David fled to the Philistine city of Ziklag, Saul pursued him and they met up at the battle of Gilboa. All of Saul's sons were killed and Saul himself was so badly wounded that he preferred to throw himself on his sword rather than be taken alive.
A nearly identical tapestry from the collection of Graham Baron Ash, Wingfield Castle, Diss, Norfolk, was sold in these Rooms, 30 May 1980, lot 277, while another tapestry probably from the same workshop and depicting Roman soldiers approaching women and children in similar borders, was sold anonymously at Christie's New York, 29 - 30 March 2000, lot 334.