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Other 17th-century conflicts

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

SALOMON SAVERY (1594-1678)

View of Smolensk, 1633 (Smolensk, Russia) 54°46ʹ54ʺN 32°02ʹ24ʺE

published 1635

Etching and engraving; printed from four copperplates on four sheets of paper; mounted on paper (Remains of type A mount) | 83.9 x 109.3 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 722074.a

A view of Polish-Lithuanian Smolensk, unsuccessfully besieged by the Muscovite army, commanded by Mikhail Shein (?-1634) from 28 October 1632 to 4 October 1633. Smolensk War (1632-4). Oriented with south-south-east to top.

This view, taken after the siege was broken by the Polish army in October 1633, shows the fieldworks and fortifications of both the Muscovites and the defending Polish forces. In the left foreground on horseback, the Polish King and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Władysław IV (9 June 1595-20 May 1648) points his baton towards three commanders of troops of different nationalities who are presenting themselves and asking for pardon while, below them, Muscovite dukes bend the knee in acknowledgement of their defeat. Bottom right is the Polish victory trophy, towering over prisoners of war.

Top centre, an eagle, symbol of Polish power, flashes a thunderbolt which strikes an allegorical winged figure, top left, representing brute force bereft of wisdom falling to ruin under its own weight or, in this case, the destroyed reputation of the Russians while, top right, a winged victory, representing the triumphant reputation of Poland gestures to a deed well done. Lettering reads: VIS CONSILII EXPERS RES BENE GESTA.

The letters and numbers which appear on the view are explained in the accompanying letterpress text at RCINs 722074.b, c and d.

  • Salomon Savery (1594-1678) (engraver)

    Adolf Boy (1612-after 1680) (artist)

    Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) (publisher)

    Andreas Hünefeldt (1581-1666) (print seller) [bottom, right of centre:] Adolphus Boy Dantiscanus delineavit, / Salomon Saverij æri incidit, / Guiljelmus Blaeu excudit Amsterdami / Dantisci veneunt / Apud Andream Hunefeldt.


    Władysław IV, King of Poland and Tsar of Russia (1595-1648)
  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: eleven fold lines; before being pasted to the bottom two sheets, the top two sheets were joined and folded several times; 4.0 cm tear to left edge; 42.0 cm tear along a fold line; ragged 13.0 cm tear to right edge

  • 83.9 x 109.3 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

  • Printed title:

    EXPVGNATIO / EXERCITVS MOSCOVITICI / OBSIDIONE PREMENTIS VRBEM / SMOLENSKVM / DVCTV / VLADISLAI IV / POLONIÆ ET SVECIÆ REGIS etc. [bottom centre, in cartouche embellished with the artefacts of war]


    George III heading: Smolensk 1633

    Other annotations: none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Smolensk Expugnatio Exercitus Muscovitici Obsidione prementis Urbem Smolenskum ductu Vladislai IV Poloniæ et Sueciæ Regis A.o 1633: per Adolphum Boy, incisa a Salomon Savery, apud G. Blaeu et A. Hunefeldt. 4 tab. cum Descriptione, 1635.

  • Subject(s)

    Smolensk, Russia (54°46ʹ54ʺN 32°02ʹ24ʺE)

  • 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 2947

Page revisions

  • 25 May 2024

    Adding image