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

Claes Jansz Visscher II (c.1587-1652)

Siege of Breda, 1624-5

BELEGERING / van / BREDA / ond ert beleyt des / Marquis Spinola / Begonnen den 27 Augusti / 1624 c.1625

Etching and engraving; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type B) | 40.2 x 53.6 cm (image and neatline) | RCIN 722014

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A map of the siege of Breda to 3 April 1625, defended by Justinus van Nassau (1559-1631), carried on by the Spanish army, commanded by Ambrogio Spinola 1st Marquis of the Balbases (1569-25 September 1630) between 28 August 1624 and 5 June 1625 resulting in a Spanish victory. Eighty Years War (1568-1648). Oriented with west-south-west to top (cardinal points).

This map was originally published with accompanying letterpress text (Rijksmuseum RP-P-0B-81.224) which carried the title: Nieu-gecorrigeerde en verbeter= / de Caerte vande belegeringe der Stadt BRE- / DA, onder 'tbeleyt des Marquis Spinola: Midts= / gaders een cort verhael van t ghedenckweerdich= /ste inde Belegheringhe voor-ghevallen.  published 't'Amsterdam, By Claes Iansz. Visscher, 1625.' The latest date referred to in this text is 3 April 1625, just 20 days before the death of Maurice of Nassau.

The coat of arms of Giovanni Battista Caravaggi are bottom right.

The numbers on the map run from 20 to 40. There is no sequence from 1 to 19. The Royal Collection example lacks any key to the numbers. These are explained on the Rijksmuseum example as follows:

  1. 't Nieuwe quartier van de Marquis Spinola.
  2. Vijf Schanssen langhs den swarten dijck.
  3. De hooge Brugh des Marquis uyterste  Schilt-wacht.
  4. De sluys waer door de Vucht sijn water loost.
  5. Cleyne Darande/daer die van de Stadt haer uyterste werck hebben.
  6. Hier is de vaert met dicke palen toe ghekraecht.
  7. De veroverde schepen/int beghin des beleghs.
  8. Dese sluys en den dijck hier door ghesteken door Sr. Baglione.
  9. Het out quartier van Marquis Spinola.
  10. Eenighe Brouweryen/van de Marquis ghesticht.
  11. Eenighe Backhuysen tot des Marquis Legher.
  12. 31.'t Quartier van de Patres de Jesuy[t]en.
  13. 't Quartier der Amonitie.
  14. Den Doorn-Thuyn.
  15. Dit Landt wert van de Stadt onder water gheset.
  16. 't Hoorn-werck buyten d'An[t]werpsche poort.
  17. 't Hoorn-werck buyten de G[i]nnekentiche poort.
  18. 't Hoorn-werck buyten Ma[?]iyis Bolwerck.
  19. Hier schieten die vande stadt de Papegay.
  20. 't Hoornw: buyten de Bos poort.
  21. 't Hoornwerck achter 't Casteel.

The map shows the state of the siege up to the 3rd of April 1625. The areas which were flooded by the States General, in a failed attempt to bring supplies to the city, are shown by short horizontal pecks which are engraved in parallel lines. Those roads which were not flooded are shown without any of the pecks, while those which have become impassable are represented in the same way as the other flooded areas. The positions and locations of the troops of both sides are shown in detail.

  • Claes Jansz Visscher II (c.1587-1652) (publisher) [bottom right, in rectangular panel:] Gedruckt by Claes Janßen Vißcher.

  • Watermark: Indistinct

    Condition: three fold lines; some wear and loss of paper along central fold; substantial and pronounced brown discolouration and staining recto and verso. Most of the mount has been cropped; pressure marks from the mounts of items which were kept above this print in a different collection are present on the verso

  • 40.2 x 53.6 cm (image and neatline)

    cropped (platemark)

    40.5 x 54.3 cm (sheet)

    40.3 x 54.7 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:

    BELEGERING / van / BREDA / ond ert beleyt des / Marquis Spinola / Begonnen den 27 Augusti / 1624. [right, in oval cartouche surrounded with an olive leaf wreath]

    Additional text:

    [top left, in cartouche with rococo ornamentation, a key, a-i, l-u, w-y:] Verklaringe der Stats annotatiē 

    Annotations:

    George III heading: Breda 1624, 25.

    Other annotations: (Recto) none. (Verso) [formerly on mount, red pencil, now cropped and missing.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Breda Belegering van Breda onder t’beleyt des Marquis Spinola begonnen den 27 August 1624; gedruckt by C.I. Visscher.

  • 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)

    Breda, North Brabant, Netherlands(51°35'11"N 04°46'33"E)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2819

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