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

Horatio Marinari (active 1634-56)

Siege of Orbetello, 1646


Engraving and etching; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type B) | 20.6 x 34.3 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 723068

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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). Oriented with north-west to top.

This print shows the earliest stages of the siege, with the French army having just disembarked and marching into position behind Orbetello; cannon are being fired but the encampments are not yet set out. There is no sign of Spanish ships coming to relieve Porto Ercole.

A different state of this print, with a re-engraved and re-positioned title (slightly higher) with the addition of 'nel Mese di maggio 1646' is preserved in the BnF (Estampes et photographiee QB-201 (39) –Fol p.3). This different state can also be distinguished by the absence of the French flags from the troops marching inland from the coast, and by the presence of extensive pallisading along the shores of the stagnant lagoon.

  • Horatio Marinari (active 1634-56) (publisher) [bottom left:] Horatio Marinari formis Con licenza de superiori

  • Watermark: Print: coat of arms. Mount: none.

    Condition: one fold line

  • 20.6 x 34.3 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

    22.7 x 36.2 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:

    ORBITELLO ASSEDIATO [top centre]


    George III heading: Orbitello 1646.

    Other annotations: none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Orbitello Orbitello assediato, 1646: da H. Marinari.

  • 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. 252, plate XX

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 3192

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