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Other 17th-century conflicts

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

GIOVANNI MAGGI (1566-C.1625)

View of the siege of La Rochelle, 1621 (La Rochelle, Poitou-Charentes, France) 46°10ʹ00ʺN 01°09ʹ00ʺW

published 1621

Etching and engraving; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type A); gilt edges top and right | 33.1 x 37.5 cm (image of map) | RCIN 722003

A high oblique view of the early stages of the siege and blockade of La Rochelle, June 1621 to 18 October 1622, by the French Royalist army commanded by Louis XIII (27 September 1601-14 May 1643) and Jean Louis de Nogaret de La Valette, Duke of Épernon (1554-1642), resulting, over a year later, in a cessation of hostilities under the terms of the Treaty of Montpellier, 18 October 1622. Huguenot Rebellions or Rohan Wars (1621-2). Oriented with south to top (cardinal points).

The dedicatee, François d’Escoubleau de Sourdis (25 October 1574-1628), was Archbishop of Bordeaux. The George III catalogue entry mentions that the siege was carried on by the Count of Soissions (Louis de Bourbon; 1 May 1604-6 July 1641). He, however, did not join the siege until sometime in 1622 (van Orden p.106 ftnote 83) which would have been after this print was made.

The view shows the arms of La Rochelle, top left, and the siegeworks to the east of the town. A small vignette, bottom, shows a surveyor triangulating between guerittes (stone look-out or sentry posts) on the points of two bastions of the fortified wall of La Rochelle.

The arms of Cardinal Sourdi are bottom right.

Another print of the siege, in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, entitled Pourtraict de la ville de La Rochelle, avec ses forteresses, comme elle est à present, engraved by Jan Ziarnko (1575-1626) and published by Jean le Clerc le Jeune in 1621, shows the same details and design as this Italian print, including identical numbering of the features, but lacks the western part of the view showing the batteries of the besieging troops and the key, tl. The French print is surrounded by letterpress text entitled DESCRIPTION / de la Ville de la Rochelle, / comme elle est à present, / de l’antiquité d’icelle, / & de ses Privileges. The French key, which appears to identify the same features as the Italian print, is headed LES NOMS DES / lieux les plus remar- / quables qui sont dans / la Ville de la / Rochelle. The text of the Italian print is very similar to this French example and it may be that the Italian print is a copy, with additions, of le Clerc’s.

  • Giovanni Maggi (1566-c.1625) (engraver) [bottom right of map:] IOANNES MAGGIVS ROM · FE · 1621.

    Giuseppe de' Rossi (1560-1639) (publisher) [bottom right, following dedication:] Gioseppe de Rossi. DD. [The cardinal’s coat of arms has been engraved over erased lettering the last word of which reads: ‘superiori’.]

  • Watermark: Indistinct device within a circle

    Condition: the bottom left corner of the map, left column of text, and part of the right column of text have been torn off and are missing; the remainder of the item is in fragile condition and has surface dirt and brown staining. The mount is made from a re-used Mount Type A.

  • 33.1 x 37.5 cm (image of map)

    52.5 x 37.5 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

    54.0 x 40.5 cm (mount)

  • [The title is possibly cropped. View of the siege and blockade of La Rochelle, 1621.]


    [bottom right, below coat of arms of Cardinal Sourdi:] All’ et Reuerendiss.o Sig.r / Il Sig.r Card.le de Sourdi / Pron Colendiss.o / Gioseppe de Rossi. DD.

    Additional text:

    [top left, in rectangular panel, a key, A-I, to the location of canon etc.] [bottom,below view, what appears to be a description of the town as it was in 1621 together with an account of its history and privileges together with a key, [1]-42, to the notable places in the town.]


    George III heading: Rochelle 1621.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [top centre, red pencil:] 1627. (Verso) [left of centre, red pencil:] to be added

    George III catalogue entry:

    Rochelle A Plan of the Siege of Rochelle in 1621 by the Count de Soissons: by I. Maggius, 1621: published by G. de Rossi.

  • Subject(s)

    La Rochelle, Poitou-Charentes, France (46°10ʹ00ʺN 01°09ʹ00ʺW)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    K. van Orden, Music, discipline, and arms in Early Modern France, Chicago 2005

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2837

Page revisions

  • 25 May 2024