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Other 17th-century conflicts

Printed and manuscript maps, prints and views of 22 seventeenth-century wars


Map of the siege of Clérac, 1621 (Clairac, Aquitaine, France) 44°21ʹ36ʺN 00°22ʹ44ʺE

1621 or later

Engraving; printed on paper; not mounted, the double ink framing lines of Mount Type A are drawn directly onto the paper; gilt edges top, right and bottom | Scale: 1:2,000 approx. | RCIN 721140

A medium/high oblique view/map of the siege of the Huguenot town of Clairac, from 23 July to 4 August 1621, by Louis XIII, resulting in the capitulation of the town. Huguenot Rebellions or Rohan Wars (1620-1621; 1625; 1627-1628). Oriented with north-north-west to top.

The dates for the siege are taken from Édouard de Périni, Batailles Francaises vol.3

Following the Edict of Nantes (1598) by which Henry IV of France separated civil from religious matters, granting secular rights to Protestants, his successor, Louis XIII, became more intolerant of protestantism, provoking a series of Huguenot rebellions led by Henri di Rohan (21 August 1579-13 April 1638). A Huguenot General Assembly at La Rochelle, held on 25 December 1620, determined to resist the removal by Louis XIII from the Huguenots of many of their rights.

A campaign by Louis XIII to suppress the rebellion targeted Huguenot towns in the south of France. The strong fortress of Clairac, with its 4,000-strong garrison, blocked Louis XIII's route to Montauban to which the king was planning to lay siege. Having taken several Huguenot towns on his way south from Saint-Jean-d'Angély, Louis decided to attack Clairac, depending on the strength of his artillery to achieve a quick success (Lublinskaya, 2008, p.189).

This view/map shows only the fortified walls of the town with the camp, trenches and cavalry of the Royal army nestled under the vineyards to the north-east (top right) while, south of the river Lot, more Royal troops are massing round the settlement of Borgo di Longville (Longueville). The weir is a prominent feature of the river today and is shown in the river, bottom left.

It is probable that this view is a copy of a French print which, identical in design, information, and text, was published, in French, by Melchior Tavernier in Paris in 1621: PORTRAICT AV VRAY DE LA VILLE DE CLEYRAC, ET / DV PAYSAGE QVI EST A L'ENTOUR; ET AVSSI LA REPRESENTATION DES / BATTERIES QVI S'Y SONT FAICTES. (Hennin 1921; BnF département Estampes et photographie, RESERVE FOL-QB-201 (22)).

The date of 1620, which is given in the George III heading and the George III catalogue entry, is an error.

  • After René Siette (fl.1619-48) (draughtsman) [following on from engraved title below map:] Osseruato dal Siette Ingegnero, & Geografo del Ré Christianissimo.


  • Watermark: Fleur-de-lys in circle, crown above

    Condition: one fold line; brown discolouration and foxing; pressure marks from the mounts of items which were kept above and below this map/print in a different collection are present on the recto and verso. Verso: some surface dirt

  • Scale: 1:2,000 approx. Scale bar: Scala d’ 80 Canne. [78 mm =].

    42.0 x 34.1 cm (image)

    43.7 x 34.3 cm (platemark)

    30.6 x 34.1 cm (image and neatline of map)

    11.1 x 34.0 cm (image of text)

    54.8 x 41.1 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    Descritione della Città / di Clerach. [top left, in an ornate cartouche]

    Additional text:

    [engraved text, below map:] VERO RITRATTO DELLA CITTA DI CLERAC, E DEL / CONTORNO, ET ANCO LA RAPPRESENTATIONE DELLE BATTERIE, CHE CI SI SONO FATTE. [Followed by an historical account of the city and the siege of 21-23 July.]


    George III heading: Clerac July 1620.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [top left, black pencil:] 1622 [?]; [top right, black pencil:] 1622; [bottom centre, black pencil, very faint:] July 1620. (Verso) [left of centre, red pencil:] 1/134; [bottom left, black pencil, twice:] I/138.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Clerac Ritratto della Citta di Clerac e del Contorno, et anco la Rappresentatione delle Batterie che si sono fatte: dal Sig,r Siette (besieged by Louis XIII in July 1620).

  • Subject(s)

    Clairac, Aquitaine, France(44°21ʹ36ʺN 00°22ʹ44ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    A.D. Lublinskaya (translated by B. Pearce), French absolutism: the crucial phase, 1620-1629, Cambridge 1965; translation published 2008

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2822

Page revisions

  • 25 May 2024