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Ottoman-Habsburg Wars (1521-1791)

Images from eight wars fought between 1570 and 1718

For 200 years, between the beginning of the sixteenth century and the early eighteenth century, Turkey and Austria engaged in numerous wars. On two occasions, in 1532 and in 1683, the Austrians successfully defended Vienna against the Ottomans. This section illustrates the changing fortunes of both sides over two centuries.

With the exception of the six latest items, all the maps and views covering these wars were acquired, in the first instance, by the Italian collector, Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588–1657) and his brother, Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606–89). After Carlo Antonio’s death in 1689, the collection was eventually sold by his grandson to Pope Clement XI (reg. 1700–21) in 1703. In 1714, it passed to the Pope’s nephew, Cardinal Alessandro Albani (1692–1779), from whom it was purchased in 1762 by George III.

These prints formed part of the celebrated ‘Paper Museum’ which was built up by the dal Pozzos from purchases made from the flourishing printmaking industry, primarily in Italy, but also in France, Germany and the Netherlands. Many of the items are rare or are early impressions from the copperplates. They document the conflicts of the day and, in the seventeenth century, were often accompanied by letterpress text giving up-to-date information about, for example, the progress of a siege.

The dal Pozzos took care to arrange and present their prints and drawings in logical subject divisions such as costumes, architecture, portraits, natural history and military conflicts. The items were mounted on paper, sometimes with ink framing lines drawn around the print (mount type A) and sometimes without (mount type B). These two types of paper mount can be seen on the prints of the military engagements in this section.

Map of Rhodes, 1522 (Rodos, South Aegean, Greece)
Suleiman’s early wars in the west (1521-44)

One print showing the siege of Rhodes

View of Vienna, 1532 (Vienna, Austria) 48?12?30?N 16?22?19?E
The Vienna Campaign (1529-33)

Features the earliest map in George's collection

A high oblique view of Charles V's sea-borne expedition to the Ottoman city of Tunis which he besieged 16 June-21 July 1535. The emperor's army was protected by the Ligurian General and Admiral Andrea Doria's (30 November 1466-25 November 1560) Genoese fl
Conflicts in the Mediterranean (1532-65)

Including the Great Siege of Malta in 1565

View of the siege of Sziget, 1566 (Szigetvar, Baranya, Hungary) 46?02?55?N 17?48?19?E
Suleiman’s Later Wars in Europe (1537-66)

Suleiman's final campaigns, up until his death

A high oblique view of the siege of Spanish-held Tunis by the Turkish forces, commanded by Kiliç Uluç Ali Paşa (1519-21 June 1587) and General Sinān Pasha (1506-3 April 1596) from the middle of July 1574, resulting in the capitulation of t
Siege of Tunis 1574

The final conquest of Tunis from the Spanish Empire

 View of the siege of Bihac, 1592 (Bihac, Bosanska Krajina, Bosnia-Herzegovina) 44?49?01?N 15?52?15?E
The Long War (1591/3-1606)

Initial Austrian success is overturned by the Ottomans

A map and high oblique view of Érsekújvár [formerly Neuhausel and now Nové Zámky], held by Habsburg forces, commanded by Count Ádám Forgách (1601-10 June 1681) and besieged in August and September 16
Fourth Austro-Turkish War (1663-4)

A failed Ottoman attempt on Vienna

A map of the siege of Vienna, 14 July-12 September 1683, by the Ottoman army, commanded by Grand Vizir Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha (1634/5-1683) which culminated in a victory for the Holy League (Poland, Holy Roman Empire), commanded by Jan III Sobieski
Great Turkish War (1683-99)

A series of major conflicts between the Holy League and Ottomans

A map of the campaigns of 1716 and 1717, showing the march routes and camps, with their dates, of the Imperial and Turkish armies. Austro-Turkish War (1716-18). Oriented with north to top. 
The inclusion of the note, top right, ‘Cum Privilegio S.C.M
Austro-Turkish War (1716-18)

Disastrous invasion by the Ottomans leading to the death of Ali Pasha