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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

dated 1571

Etching with some engraving; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type B); gilt edges top and right | 38.5 x 27.4 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 721056

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 view shows the two fleets lined up in order of battle at the beginning of the conflict, and at the point where the large Holy League galleasses (large, heavily armoured ships) were being attacked by the Turks who had mistaken them for merchant shipping and suffered heavy losses when the galleasses opened fire. The Holy League fleet can be seen to be arranged in four divisions: three in the front line with a reserve in the rear. The number of ships in each division is given together with the names of the commanders. The Turkish fleet is shown in the same way.

Although the victory was celebrated in Europe as heralding the end of Ottoman influence in the area, the victory was short lived because the Ottoman fleet was soon rebuilt and expanded and took control of the Mediterranean again within two years.

  • ZPC (active 1571) (printmaker) [top left, in a cartouche:] VENETIIS [the ‘N’ is engraved backwards] / MDLXXI / Z P C


    Navy-Venetian Republic
    Navy-Holy League
  • Watermark: Anchor in a circle, a six-pointed star above [see Woodward nos 158-176]

    Condition: one crease line, perhaps from the print being hung up to dry; one fold line to mount, not coincident with the crease line of the print; impressions from the mounts of items which were kept above or below this print are present on the recto and verso

  • 38.5 x 27.4 cm (image and sheet)

    51.0 x 39.3 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:

    La christiana armada / di galere fut il .C.C.V grosse VI / si affronto có l'inimica de / legni CCLV alli VII ottob: / MDLXXI [top right, in a small cartouche]

    Additional text:

    [tr, below title, in a cartouche:] Larmada turcescha in / quattro hore fu distrutta. galere bru / sate et prese .c.c.m ca [In a cartouche, bottom right, giving the statistical details of the battle:] Christiana / classis .C.C.[superpositioned word?].V.trire / miù & .VI. maior cù Tur / cax? classe triremiù .C.C.LXV. ... [in a cartouche, bottom left:] Preliù gestù ad Echinades / in faucih: siniss Corinthiaci / ...


    George III heading: Naval Engagement gained by the combined Fleets, under the command of Don John of Austria, over the Turkish Fleet near the Gulf of Lepanto, on the 7th of October 1571.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [top right, black pencil:] 1571. (Verso) [top left, black pencil:] Lepanto; [right, red pencil:] 1/51; [bottom left, black pencil:] I/55; [top right, black pencil, erased:] I/55.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Lepanto Representation of the Naval Engagement gained by the combined Fleets under the command of Don John of Austria, over the Turkish Fleet near the Gulf of Lepanto, on the of Oct.r 1571. [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. 2704

    S.J. Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, vol.I, Empire of the Gazis: The rise and decline of the Ottoman Empire 1280-1808, Cambridge 1976, reprinted 1991, pp. 178-179

Page revisions

  • 25 May 2024