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Eighty Years War (Dutch War of Independence) (1568-1648)

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


View of the siege of Maastricht, 1579 (Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands) 50°50'54"N 05°41'20"E

1579 or later

Etching and engraving; printed on paper; ink framing lines of Mount Type A are drawn directly onto the sheet; gilt edges left, bottom and right | 32.0 x 41.9 cm (image) | RCIN 721073

A high oblique view/map of the siege of Maastricht from 12 March to 29 June 1579 by the Spanish, commanded by General Alexander Farnese (27 August 1545 - 3 December 1592; Duke of Parma and Piacenza 1586-1592; Governor of the Spanish Netherlands 1578-1592) resulting in the capitulation of the town by the Dutch Rebels, commanded by Melchior von Schwarzenberg. Eighty Years War (Dutch War of Independence) (1568-1648)Farnese's campaigns of pacification in the Spanish Netherlands (1579-1589). Oriented with east to top (ORIENS is engraved below the name of MAESTRICHT); the other compass directions are given in words (upper case letters) in the left, right and bottom margins of the print.

Maastricht was the Dutch rebels' main fortified depot. Its capture would enable the Spanish to open up the eastern flank of the northern provinces and interrupt the avenue of supplies from Germany. Parma, not knowing that Maastricht was strongly defended by the Lorrrainer engineer Sébastien Tapin, launched a premature attack on the 's-Hertogenbosch and Tongres Gates, shown in this view numbered 6 and 9 respectively. Many Spanish were killed underground in the mine tunnels. In the left foreground fly the standards of Spain (a St Andrew's cross), and other Habsburg emblems of the Holy Roman Empire. 

This impression is taken from a worn and scratched plate with several ink marks around the edges made by the ink being rubbed into the damaged areas of the plate during the printing process. A cleaner impression is in the Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg (Wolf-Dietrich-Klebeband Städtebilder G 31 III).

  • Natale Bonifacio da Sebenico (1538-92) (engraver)

    Lorenzo Vaccari (active 1575-1608) (printer) [following on from title:] In Roma, nella Stampparia de Lorenzo Dela Vaccaria. Natal. B. fe.


    Army-Duke of Parma
  • Watermark: A bird in circle

    Condition: one fold line; printed from a scratched plate; brown discolouration

  • 32.0 x 41.9 cm (image)

    32.4 x 44.0 cm (platemark)

    27.7 x 41.9 cm (neatline)

    41.4 x 55.0 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    MAESTRICHT. [at top of print]

    Printed title:

    Il Vero dissegno della citta de MASTRIH nella Galia Belgica, assediata dall' Eccmo Sr Prencipe di parma, General de sua Mta Catolica, nel quale si Vede con ogni diligentia / il Sito de essa citta, con li suoi forti, è beloardi, in riparo, similmente i luochi doue è accampato il campo de sua Magesta Catholica, con le batterie, assalti, & minere, fatte, & altre cose notabile, come legendo alli nu: / meri Vederete, con li Ponti fatti per poter trascorere di qua et di la dal fiume, el tutto fatto, dal disegno, del Ingegniero, de S Eccelentja. [bottom, in a rectangular panel, below the view]

    Additional text:

    [below the title, a key, 1-21, of the principal locations on the view.]


    George III heading: Maestricht 1579.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [top left, on mount, red pencil:] 1579 taken by the Spaniards; [bottom right, on mount, black pencil, erased:] 1579. (Verso) [top left, red pencil:] 1/66; [top left, black pencil, erased:] I/79.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Maestricht Disegno della Citta de Mastrih assediata dall’ S.r Principe di Parma General de Sua M.ta Catolica nel quale si vede il sito de essa Citta con li suoi forti e beloardi in riparo, similimente i luochi dove e’ accampato il Campo de Sua M.C. con le batterie, assalti et minere fatte, 1579: da Natal B. (Boniface) apresso Lorenzo dela Vaccaria

  • Subject(s)

    Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands (50°50'54"N 05°41'20"E)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    C. Duffy, Siege warfare: the fortress in the early modern world 1494-1660, London 1979, p. 74

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2720

Page revisions

  • 25 May 2024