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Ottoman-Habsburg Wars (1521-1791)

Images from eight wars fought between 1570 and 1718


Tunis, 1573

L'APRESA DI TVNISI L ANNO · 1573 / Partendosi · il Sr ·D·Giovani dal Portto della Faiignana / alli ·7· di Ottobre et arriuo al ·8· alla Goletta nel /...

1573 or later

Etching and engraving; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type A); gilt edges left, bottom and right | 39.4 x 52.7 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 721070

A middle oblique view of the taking of Tunis by Don John of Austria with troops of the Spanish empire on 11th October 1573. Ottoman-Habsburg Wars (1526-1791). Oriented with west to top (P[onente]; mariner’s compass).

The Spanish had planned an expedition to North Africa during 1573; Don John arrived at Goletta on the 8th October and disembarked on the 9th. The troops comprised 13,000 Italians, 9,000 Spaniards and 5,000 Germans, shown here moving among the ancient ruins of Carthage. The fleet, which is only hinted at in this view, comprised 107 galleys, 31 ships, the galleon of the Grand Duke of Tuscany and several barques loaded with supplies and frigates and other small boats. Although this view shows cannon being fired, the inhabitants had fled the town without fighting and Don Juan occupied it without trouble on the 11th, finding only old people, who had been left behind, in the casbah. The date of the 11th, rather than the 10th October, as given in the title, is recorded in Braudel (1995), p.1132, footnote 239. A garrison of 8,000 men was left in Tunis. On the 24th October, Don John left Goletta and took Porto Farina, shown here to the north (right) of Tunis, the same day.

  • Mario Cartaro (active c.1540-1620) (engraver) [bottom right, below title:] Marius Kartarus fecit roma

  • Watermark: Crossbow in circle

    Condition: three fold lines; slight brown discolouration; some staining

  • 39.4 x 52.7 cm (image and sheet)

    41.2 x 54.9 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:

    L'APRESA DI TVNISI L ANNO · 1573 / Partendosi · il Sr ·D·Giovani dal Portto della Faiignana / alli ·7· di Ottobre et arriuo al ·8· alla Goletta nel / tramontar del Sole esbarcho con lesercito et auēdo / intendimento che Turchi e mori erano fugiti sua / Alteza mando Marchese ·S· Chroce cō ·2500 Fanti / et prese la Citta sensa cōnbatere la forteza li fu data / sensa conbatere questo di ·10· di Ottobre [bottom right, in a rectangular panel]


    George III heading: Tunis 1573.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [bottom right, on mount, black pencil:] 1573. (Verso) [top left, on map, red pencil:] 1/63.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Tunis A Representation of the Siege of Tunis taken by the Spaniards under Don John of Austria Oct.r

  • Subject(s)

    Tūnis, Tunisia 3(6°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. 1131-1133

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2717

Page revisions

  • 14 March 2024