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Ottoman-Habsburg Wars (1521-1791)

Images from eight wars fought between 1570 and 1718


Siege of Tunis, 1574

Goletta, el Nouo forte auanti Tunesi, / cól'Assedio p terra, et p Mare [?] Turchi et Mori, / el luglio, et agosto 74. Có li grá sforci de siná bassà, / et d Vcchiali capitt.o de l'Armata, et le mirabil / proue...

1574 or later

Etching and engraving; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type A); gilt edges left, bottom and right | 20.6 x 35.5 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 721071

A high oblique view of the siege of Spanish-held Tunis by the Turks, 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 the city by the Italian general, Gabrio Serbelloni (1509-1580) on 13 September. Ottoman-Habsburg Wars (1596-1791). Oriented with south-west to top (compass rose).

The Spanish and Italian garrisons at Tunis and Goletta were isolated from the hinterland and unsupported by the local nomads, who flocked to the service of the Turks. Supply lines were poor and the new fortress at Tunis, shown in the middle foreground, was unfinished. The nomads did the work of pioneers, digging long lines of trenches which are shown in this view. The Turkish fleet of 230 galleys (some sources say 250) and a few dozen small ships, shown here at anchor at Porto Farina and in the foreground, carried 40,000 (some sources say 75,000) men who encamped among the ruins of Carthage. The new fort was built by the Turks at Goletta.

It was the outcome of this siege which determined that North Africa would from now on be under Ottoman rule.

  • Giovanni Francesco Camocio (active 1560-72) (publisher) [top right, below title, in title cartouche:] Apresso Gio. Franc.o Camocio.

  • Watermark: Indistinct design in circle, some letters?

    Condition: creased; some brown staining; foxing; surface dirt; pressure marks from the mounts of items which were kept above and below this print in a different collection are present on the recto and verso

  • 20.6 x 35.5 cm (image and sheet)

    40.5 x 54.9 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:

    Goletta, el Nouo forte auanti Tunesi, / cól'Assedio p terra, et p Mare [?] Turchi et Mori, / el luglio, et agosto 74. Có li grá sforci de siná bassà, / et d Vcchiali capitt.o de l'Armata, et le mirabil / proue fatte in Goletta, da Dó Pietro carrera / et dal S. Gaório Serbellone nel nouo forte, cón / mantalita incredibile d Turchi, et Mori. [top right, in an oval cartouche, embellished with strapwork]


    George III heading: Tunis 1574.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [top right, black pencil:] 1574; [bottom right, black pencil:] 1574; [top left, underneath K.Mil number, black pencil, erased:] 72; [left, black pencil, erased:] [?] by August 1574. (Verso) [top left, on mount, black pencil:] I/68b; [top left, on mount, red pencil:] 1/64; [top right, black pencil, erased:] Tunis.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Tunis Goletta et nuovo Forte avanti Tunesi col’ Assedio per terra et per Mare da Turchi et Mori el Luglio et Agosto 1574: apresso G.F. Camocio.

  • Subject(s)

    Tūnis, Tunisia (36°49ʹ08ʺN 10°09ʹ56ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    F. Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean world in the age of Philip II,  vol. II, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London 1995, pp. 1136-1138

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2718

Page revisions

  • 14 March 2024