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Other 16th-century conflicts

Contemporary maps of 10 sixteenth-century wars


View of the Battle of Lepanto, 1571 (Nafpaktos, West Greece, Greece) 38°23ʹ30ʺN 21°49ʹ39ʺE

published 1572

Etching with engraving; printed from two copperplates on two sheets of paper, joined | 65.2 x 42.5 cm (image left sheet) | RCIN 721057

A high oblique view/map of the naval Battle of Lepanto, fought on 7 October 1571 between the fleets of the Holy League (Spain, Venice, Genoa, Papal States, Duchies of Tuscany, Savoy Urbino, and the Knights Hospitallers of Malta) commanded by Don John of Austria (24 February 1547-1 October 1578) and the Ottomans, commanded by Grand Admiral Müezzinzade Ali Pasha (d.7 October 1571), resulting in a victory for the Holy League. Fourth Ottoman-Venetian War (1570-1573). Oriented with north to top.

This is a complex and finely executed design of a central panel with an ornate border, showing the two fleets engaged at the height of the battle, with text above and below. Two small maps, one of the European, African and Asian countries around the Mediterranean Sea, the other of the disposition of the two great fleets facing each other before the beginning of the battle are bottom centre, engraved in a cartouche resembling a marble tablet surmounted by the Papal arms, with, to the left, the arms of Don John of Austria, and the figure of religion with the motto ‘RELIGIO ·VICTRIX’; to the right, a winged lion surmounted by a coronet [the arms of Venice?] is accompanied by allegorical figures of Spain and Venice clasping hands with the motto of ‘CONCORDIA FELIX’. To each side of the central view are the Christian (left) and Turkish (right) fleets drawn up in battle order; three panels of text are engraved down the left and right sides of the print; two panels of text appear along the bottom. The text on the left side and bottom of the print refers to the disposition and actions of the Christian fleet, and that on the right side and bottom describes the Turkish fleet. On the coast of Africa, bottom left, a group of three figures is engraved above ‘Christor de ·Turcis·naualis uictoria’, top left, an angel in flowing robes, with sword in right hand and cross in left, faces, top right, a griffin with a lance topped by a sickle in right hand and the Turkish flag in the left.

The attribution to the engraver, Horatio de Marii Tigrino, is made in the British Library entry; his name appears as the dedicator; the dedicatee is Orsini.

  • Horatio de Marii Tigrino (active 1572-88) (engraver)

    Michele Tramezzino (active 1527-79) (publisher) [bottom right of central view, in a cartouche:] IN ROMA / APPRESSO Mj MICHELE / TRAMEZZINO / L'ANNO / ·M·D·LXXII / con Priuileggio


    Selim II, Sultan of the Turks (1524-74)
    Admiral Ali Pasha (active 1571)
    Navy-Holy League
  • Watermark: A man holding a cross in shield; fleur-de-lys in circle, a crown above

    Condition: two fold lines; trimmed to edge of image; the image is faded, top and tr: the left half of the print appears to have been printed from a less worn plate, the image is more crisp and black. Not mounted

  • 65.2 x 42.5 cm (image left sheet)

    65.2 x 42.5 cm (image right sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

    65.2 x 85.0 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    Disegno dell'armate, Christiana, et Turchesca, nel / quale si rappresenta l'ordine tenuto da ambedue = / nell'andarse ad incontrare et il conflitto istesso seguito / il di 7·d'8bre 1571 · tra la bocca del golfo di Lepanto ... [in two panels, above the central view; a horizontal line is engraved over the date]

    Additional text:

    (1) [In a cartouche, bottom left of central view, a dedication:] All Illmo S Lacino Orsino Generale ... [there follows a panel of text:] Sapēdo quāto di trattenimē ... Horario de Marij Tigrino (2) [Across bottom of central view:] Disegno del conflicto tra le doi armate poste in ordinanza fuori del panno nella Batta= / glia ... (3) [Three panels of text to left side:] (a) Il corno sinistro qui all'in= / contro disegnaco ... (b) Nel mezzo d'lla battaglia di / l'armata Christiana ... (c) Le Naui che restorono p uia / gio á carico di Don Cesare d'A / ualos ... (4) [In a panel across bottom, left:] L'armata Christiana q sopra disegnata nel modo col qale si doueua mettero in battaglia secōdo l'ordine dato da ·S·A· (5) [In a panel across bottom, right:] Larmata Turchesca qui sopra disegnata nel modo che usci á uela dal golfo di Lepanto ... (6) [Three panels of text to right side:] (a) Nel corso destroy erano [30] ua / scelli tra galee et galeotte guida / to da Maemet Bei gouernato / re di Negroponte ... (b) Larmata Turchesca di Gale / e 212 et 66 galeotte ... (c) Nel corno sinistro erano ua / scelli ...[followed by a distance table] ... Venetia é distante dalla bocca di / detto golfo circa miglia 960 · Mes / sina 490 et Candia da 380


    George III heading: Naval Engagement Lepanto 1571.

    Other annotations: (Verso) in red pencil: 1/55; [top, right of centre, black pencil, erased:] Lepanto.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Lepanto Disegno dell’Armate Christiana et Turchesca nel quale si rappresenta l’ordine tenuto da ambedue nell’andarsi ad incontrare et il conflitto istesso seguito il di 7 d’8.bre 1571 tra la Boca del Golfo di Lepanto et li Scogli Cuzzolari: apresso Michele Tramezzino, 1572. 2 foglie. [The same entry appears under the heading Naval Engagement]

  • Subject(s)

    Nafpaktos, West Greece, Greece (38°23ʹ30ʺN 21°49ʹ39ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2705

    R.V. Tooley, ‘Maps in Italian atlases of the sixteenth century, being a comparative list of the Italian maps issued by Lafreri, Forlani, Duchetti, Bertelli and others, found in atlases’, Imago Mundi III, 1939, pp. 12-47, no. 608

Page revisions

  • 23 May 2024