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Contemporary prints and maps of the battles and sieges of the Eighty Years War

Claes Jansz. Visscher (c.1587-1652)

Battle of Gibraltar, 1607

Vera vehementis pugnæ / navalis effigies, quæ à / claße armata Regis Hispa= / niæ atq Illustriß: D. D. / Ordinum Provinciarum / confœderatarum navibus / præsidiarijs sub auspicio / Nobilis Magnanimiq Arc=... 1607 or later

Etching and engraving; printed from three copperplates on three sheets of paper, joined; mounted on paper, mount cropped | 43.5 x 85.0 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 721130.a

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A view of the naval Battle of Gibraltar, fought on 25 April 1607 between the Dutch fleet, commanded by Admiral Jacob van Heemskerck (13 March 1567-25 April 1607), and the Spanish, commanded by Admiral Juan Álvarez de Ávila (d.25 April 1607), resulting in a Dutch victory and the death of both admirals. Eighty Years War (Dutch War of Independence (1568-1648). Oriented with north to top.

Van Heemskerck, commanding a fleet of twenty-six ships, had sailed in search of the larger Spanish fleet which was on its way to the East Indies, tasked with attacking the Dutch settlements there. The two fleets encountered each other in the Bay of Gibraltar, shown in this view.

The Rijksmuseum example of this print (RP-P-OB-77.989) is attributed to Claes Jansz. Visscher after a drawing by David Vinckboons.

  • Claes Jansz. Visscher (c.1587-1652) (printmaker)

    After? David Vinckboons (1576-1632) (draughtsman)

    Willem Jansz. Blaeu (1571-1638) (publisher) [bottom right, at foot of column 13 on RCIN 721130.c:] t’AMSTERDAM / By Willem Iansz. Blaeuw, op’t Water / in de vergulde Sonne-wijser.

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: two fold lines; trimmed unevenly to neat line; bottom left corner cropped. Verso: remains of Mount Type B; no gilt edges, some pressure marks

  • 43.5 x 85.0 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

  • Printed title:

    Vera vehementis pugnæ / navalis effigies, quæ à / claße armata Regis Hispa= / niæ atq Illustriß: D. D. / Ordinum Provinciarum / confœderatarum navibus / præsidiarijs sub auspicio / Nobilis Magnanimiq Arc= / hitalaßi Iacobi HEEMS= / KERCKII Amstelodamensis / peracta est sub propugna= / culis Civitatis Gibraltar, / 25 Aprilis Anno 1607. [top left, in a rectangular panel between two small images]

    Insets:

    [across the top of the view, left to right, is a sequence of separate images]: 
    1) a high oblique view of the Bay of Gibraltar with the Dutch fleet; size: 9.5 x 17.5 cm (neatline). 
    2) a rectangular tablet with engraved title text; size: 9.5 x 6.5 cm (neatline). 
    3) the interior of a church with the tomb of Admiral Heemskerck; size: 9.5 x 10.2 cm (neatline). 
    4) A three-quarter length portrait of Admiral Jacob van Heemskerk in armour, facing towards the right, with left hand on hip, the right hand holding the hilt of a sword, two angels holding a circular wreath over his head and a view of two ships in the background, together with his coat of arms under which is engraved 'Aetatis suæ | 39 | Ao. Di. 1607 size: 16.0 x 12.2 cm (image); 15.0 x 12.2 cm (neatline).
    5) the funeral procession of Heemskerck; size: 9.5 x 17.5 cm (neatline). 
    6) another high oblique view of the Bay of Gibraltar showing the order of the Spanish fleet. Size: 9.5 x 17.5 cm (neatline). 
    7) bottom left, a small-scale map of the land to each side of the Straights of Gibraltar. Size: 11.0 x 9.5 cm (image); 10.6 x 9.0 cm (neatline).

    Annotations:

    George III heading: Naval Engagement in the Bay of Gibraltar 25.th April 1607.

    Other annotations: none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement Pugnæ Navalis Effigies quæ a Classe Armata Regis Hispaniæ atque Ordinum Provinciarum Confœderatarum Navibus Præsidiariis sub auspicio Architalassi Jacobi Heemskerckii peracta est sub Propugnaculis Civitatis Gibraltar, 25 Aprilis 1607: cum Effigie Heemskerckii. 3 tab: et Descriptione: apud Blaeu. [The same entry appears under the heading Gibraltar]

  • Probably from the collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-22 October 1657); inherited by his brother, Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606-1689); sold by Carlo Antonio’s grandson to Clement XI, 1703; acquired by Cardinal Alessandro Albani by 1714, from whom purchased by George III in 1762

  • Subject(s)

    Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory (36°08'00"N 05°21'00"W)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    A. Bruce and W. Cogar, Encyclopedia of naval history, London, 2014, p. 172

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2804

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