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Contemporary maps and prints of the major battles and sieges from 1635 to 1658


Siege of Orbetello, 1646


Etching and engraving; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type B); gilt edges left and bottom | 25.3 x 39.9 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 723067

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A high oblique view of the Spanish-held fortress town of Orbetello, besieged between 12 May and 24 July by the French, commanded by Thomas Francis of Savoy, Prince of Carignano (21 December 1596-22 January 1656), who were eventually obliged to lift the siege after the arrival of a Spanish relief army commanded by Gerolamo Maria Caracciolo, Marqués de Torrecuso, and Rodrigo Ponce de León, 4th Duke of Arcos. Franco-Spanish War (1635-1659).

As well as depicting the siege, this print also shows, top left, the naval Battle of Orbetello which was fought on 14 June 1646 between a French fleet, commanded by Admiral Jean Armand de Maillé-Brézé, Marquis de Brézé (18 October 1619-14 June 1646), and Spanish ships, sent to try to break the siege and relieve the town, commanded by Miguel de Noronha, 4th Count of Linhares (1585-1647).

A different state of this print, with the oval key cartouche top left instead of bottom right, and with the words 'ARMATA SPAGNOLE' engraved lower down, is preserved in the BnF (Cartes et plans, Ge D-7682 (RES).

  • Anonymous (cartographer)

  • Watermark: Print: indistinct: bird? within cicle, the letters A N to either side. Mount: none.

    Condition: one fold line

  • 25.3 x 39.9 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

    38.5 x 52.1 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:

    ORBETELLO / ASSEDIATO [top centre, between the coast and the French fleet]

    Additional text:

    [bottom right, in oval cartouche with decorative edge, a key, A-G, to gates and notable buildings in Orbetello.]


    George III heading: Orbitello 1646.

    Other annotations: none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Orbitello A Plan of the Siege of Orbitello in 1646.

  • 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)

    Orbetello, Tuscany, Italy (42°26ʹ30ʺN 11°13ʹ17ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    G. Della Monaca, 1646 Orbetello L’assedio memorabile storia, personaggi, cartografia, letteratura, Rome 2013, p. 254, plate XXVII

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 3191

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