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Views of naval engagements and maps of battles

Juan Gálvez (1774-1847)

First siege of Saragossa, 1808

Ruinas de Zaragoza c.1812-13

RCIN 735139

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An incomplete collection of 18 out of 36 items, first published between 1812 and 1813, of Saragossa during the siege of June-August 1808. The prints consist of: Ruins of Saragossa (RCINs 735139.g-m), the Attack of the French in 1808 (RCINs 735139.n-s) and the Portraits of the principle persons concerned in its defence (RCINs 735139.a-f). Plus one map of the Battle of Coruna 16 January 1809 (RCINs 735139.s). 

Following the Spanish declaration of war on France in June 1808 the French army, commanded by General Jean-Antoine Verdier, repeatedly stormed the city, and was repeatedly repulsed. The result was a Spanish victory, the French being compelled to lift the siege and retreat.

The set of prints known as the Ruins of Zaragoza series comprises 36 etchings and aquatint prints made between 1808 and 1812. It was published by subscription in instalments of three prints at a time. There are few surviving complete collections today. The series is divided into three sections, the 12 prints of each being a different size: 1) small size: portraits of the protagonists and heroes of the defence of the city; 2) medium size: views of battle scenes, and 3) large size: views of the ruins of some of the buildings which suffered the most destruction under the bombing. The price paid for each print by George III appears to reflect the difference in size: fifteen shillings for the largest, ten shillings and sixpence for the medium sized prints, and seven shillings and sixpence for the smallest.

See the Museo Zaragoza website for more information (accessed 8 Nov 2016).

  • Juan Gálvez (1774-1847) (artist)

    Fernando Brambila (1763-1832) (artist) [unless otherwise recorded, all the prints have the creators' names engraved bottom left, below the edge of the prints:] Juan Galbez [i.e. Galvez] y Fernando Brambila.

  • Condition: heavy surface dirt on all prints

  • Printed title:

    Ruinas de Zaragoza [top of print]

    K. Mil. dummy sheet:

    Title [ink:] 18 Prints of the Ruins of Saragossa, the Attacks of the French in 1808, and Portraits of the / principal Persons concerned in its defence: by Juan Galbez and Fernando Brambila / Port-folio N.o [black pencil:] 4 ... 2 Table / [old heading, black pencil and red ink:] XV/139 a-s Saragossa 1808. (Verso) [black pencil, in Evelyn Heaton-Smith's hand:] Siege of Saragoza 1808. 
    Watermark: fleur-de-lys in crowned shield, the scrolled letter W below. 
    Size: 48.2 x 33.3 cm (sheet). 

    George III catalogue entry:

    Saragossa 18 Prints of the Ruins of Saragossa, the Attacks of the French in 1808, and Portraits of the principal persons concerned in its defence: by Juan Galbez and Fernando Brambila.

  • From the collection of military and naval maps and prints formed by George III (1738-1820)

  • Subject(s)

    Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain (41°39'21"N 00°52'38"W)

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