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

Johannes Baptista Vrints (active 1575-d.1610)

Siege of ’s-Hertogenbosch, 1603

VRAYE ET NATVRELLE CARTE TOPOGRAPHIQVE DE LA VILLE / DE BOISLEDVC, ASSIEGÉÉ PAR L’ENNEMY, ET MVTINEZ, / LE 18. D’AOVST L’AN 1603: ENSEMBLE LE CAMP DE SON / ALTESSE SER.ME L’ARCHIDVC ALBERT, Y... 1603 or later

Etching and engraving; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type A); gilt edges left, bottom and right | 39.5 x 46.7 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 721123

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A high oblique view of the unsuccessful siege of Spanish-held Bois-le-Duc by Maurice of Nassau (14 November 1567-23 April 1625) during August 1603. The Eighty Years War (Dutch War of Independence) (1568-1648). Oriented with south to top. 

The siege of Bois-le-Duc was a failed attempt by Maurice of Nassau to deflect Spanish attention from their siege of Ostend (see RCINs 721115-118). The Dutch, called in this view the enemy and rebels (l'Ennemy et Mutinez), can be seen surrounding the town from their base at the fort of Crèvecoeur, bottom left, around the west (right) side of the town to the point where they face the forces of Albert VII, Archduke of Austria and Governor of the Spanish Netherlands. The identity of the two armies is shown by their flags: the cross (of Burgundy) for the Spanish, and the stripes of the Dutch Republic.

The tents of Maurice and his younger brother, Prince Frederick Henry, are shown top right.

  • Johannes Baptista Vrints (active 1575-d.1610) (publisher) [bottom right, at bottom of alphabetical key:] EN ANVERS, / Chez Iehan Baptiste Vrints, / a l’enseigne de l’escu d’Espaigne, / ruë dicte, la Lombarde-veste.

  • Watermark: Horn in shield, a six-pointed star within shield

    Condition: one fold line; this map was in poor condition before it was mounted; neatline or less; worn along bottom of print; brown staining; small pieces missing bottom left; pressure marks from the mounts of items which were kept above and below this print in a different collection are present on the recto and verso

  • 39.5 x 46.7 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

    40.4 x 54.9 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:

    VRAYE ET NATVRELLE CARTE TOPOGRAPHIQVE DE LA VILLE / DE BOISLEDVC, ASSIEGÉÉ PAR L’ENNEMY, ET MVTINEZ, / LE 18. D’AOVST L’AN 1603: ENSEMBLE LE CAMP DE SON / ALTESSE SER.ME L’ARCHIDVC ALBERT, Y CAMPÉ LE 21. DV DICT / MOYS, SOVBS LA CONDVITE DE MONSEIGNEVR LE CONTE / FEDERICQVE VANDEN BERGHE: ETC. FAITE ET DELI : / NÉE PAR LES INGENIEVRS DVDICT SER.ME ARCHIDVC. [bottom centre, in rectangular cartouche]

    Annotations:

    George III heading: Bois le Duc August 1603.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [bottom right, black pencil:] 1603; [left, black pencil, erased:] 18 August 1603. (Verso) [top right, black pencil, erased:] Bois le Duc; [left centre, red pencil:] 1/105; [left centre, black pencil:] I/1[08]; [bottom centre, brown ink:] Eersamen Sr paolo Bril / vermaert schilder in / Rooma / pesa ons.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Bois le Duc Carte Topographique de la Ville de Bois le Duc, assiegée par l’Ennemy et Mutinez le 18 d’Aoust 1603: ensemble le Camp de l’Archiduc Albert y campé le 21 du dict moys: faite par les Ingenieurs du dict Archiduc chez I.B. Vrints.

  • 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)

    ’s-Hertogenbosch [Bois-Le-Duc], North Brabant, Netherlands (51°41'57"N 05°18'15"E)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    D. Coetzee and L.W. Eysturlid (eds), Philosophers of War: the evoution of history’s greatest military thinkers,  Santa Barbara 2013,  p.118

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2797

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