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Images from eight wars fought between 1570 and 1718


Lower Hungary and Nagykanizsa, 1664


Engraving and etching; printed on paper; formerly mounted on paper (Mount Type B, remains along left and bottom) | Scale: Scale bar: Scala milia Ongari comuni [58 mm = 5] | RCIN 723121

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A high oblique view and map of Lower Hungary 'behind or below' [i.e. east] of Nagykanizsa showing the campaigns of Nicholas VII of Zrin (Nikola Zrinski; Hungarian: Zrínyi, 1620-64) – the 'Conte Nicolò di Serin' in the text of this print – against the Ottoman forces in January and February of 1664. Zrinski was the Ban [viceregal governor under the Habsburgs] of Croatia from 1647-1664. Oriented with north-east to top. Habsburg-Ottoman Wars (Fourth Austro-Turkish War) (1663-4).

Many of the settlements are shown in flames together with the date on which they were destroyed by Habsburg forces during the campaign in an attempt to provide an obstacle to the Ottoman advance on Vienna. In the foreground is a representation of Zrinski on horseback, wielding a scimitar-like sword in his right hand, the sword held over his left shoulder. The motto 'SORS BONA VIRTVS MELIOR' (Good luck, virtue [strength/fortitude/power] better) is inscribed on a banderole to each side of his head. The Zrinski family motto is usually given as 'Sors bona,nihil aliud' (Good luck, nothing more).

To the north-west (left) of Canissa, on the left edge of the print, is 'Nouo Serinvar' (in Hungarian 'Új-Zrínyvár'). This was Zrinski's castle which he had built in 1661 (see 723123). It was to be destroyed by Ottoman forces in July 1664, just six months after the events portrayed in this print. Buda (47°30ʹ00ʺN 19°02ʹ00ʺE) appears top right.

To the right of the portrait of Zrinski is a representation of a grotesque 'tartaro' with an elongated neck and curious head. This man, who became known as the 'Monstrous Tartar' (real name not discovered), was captured by Zrinskii and allegedly toured around the courts of Europe. According to du Plessis (a servant of Samuel Pepys), writing in the early eighteenth century, he was exhibited at the Globe in the Old Bailey in February 1664 (if that is so then it would have been very soon indeed after the events of this print). He was apparently a man of prodigious strength and valour and many prints were made of him at the time and thereafter.

  • Anonymous (printmaker)

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: eight fold lines; item originally folded to 11.2 x 8.8 cm; small piece missing from top edge. Verso: heavy surface dirt and worn along fold lines; this dirt and wear was present before the item was mounted. The broken appearance of some of the letters at bottom centre suggests that the paper was creased when it was put into the press

  • Scale: Scale bar: Scala milia Ongari comuni [58 mm = 5]

    36.1 x 46.5 cm (neatline)

    39.8 x 46.5 cm (image)

    cropped (platemark)

    41.4 x 47.1 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:


    Additional text:

    [bottom left, in cartouche embellished with acanthus leaves and fruit, a poem:] AL SIGNOR CONTE / NICOLO / SONETTO / EROE DE ZRIN … [below view, a short account of the actions of the army of 9,000 Germans, 12,000 Croatians and 5,000 Hungarians beginning on 21 January 1664.]


    George III heading: Hungary Canissa 1664.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [first line of text: the name ‘Conte Nicolo Serin’ is crossed out in red crayon]; [bottom right, red crayon in a contemporary Italian hand?, as an addition:] et el [presenii] ] si ritrovo con Sarmat[?] sotti Canisia. (Verso) none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Hungary Disegno del Ongaria Inferior dove si ritrova l’Armata Christiana soto Canisia, 1664. [The same entry appears under the heading Canissa.]

  • From the collection of Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606-89) who inherited Cassiano dal Pozzo's collection and added to it; sold by Carlo Antonio's grandson to Clement XI, 1703; acquired by Cardinal Alessandro Albani by 1714, from whom purchased by George III in 1762

  • Subject(s)

    Nagykanizsa [Canissa; Kanizsa], Zala, Hungary (46°27ʹ12ʺN 16°59ʹ27ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    J. P. du Plessis, Short History of Human Prodigies, Dwarfs, etc … 1730-1733, British Library Sloane MS 5246 (text) and Sloane MS 3253 (illustrations)

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 3241

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