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Ottoman-Habsburg Wars (1521-1791)

Images from eight wars fought between 1570 and 1718


View of the siege of Malta, 1565 (Malta, independent political entity) 35°55ʹ00ʺN 14°26ʹ00ʺE

published 1565

Etching with engraving; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type A); gilt edge, right | 31.7 x 42.6 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 721034

A high oblique view of the Great Siege of Malta between 18 May and 11 September 1565 by the Turks, commanded by Kara Mustafa Pasha (c.1500-7 August 1580), and defended by the Knights of the Order of St John under Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette (4 February 1495-21 August 1568), resulting in abandonment of the siege by the Turks on the arrival of a Spanish fleet and army commanded by García Álvarez de Toledo, 4th Marquis of Villafranca (29 August 1514-31 May 1577). The Ottoman Empire (1500-1606): Conflicts in the Mediterranean (1532-1565). Oriented with north (TRAMONTANA) [actually, north-east] to top.

See also the notes to RCIN 721033.a-p. The coast of Sicily is drawn above the title, top centre.

The partial erasure of earlier cartouche text, bottom right, indicates that the plate has been altered or re-used. The partial coastline of a previous image on this plate can be seen meandering along the left side of the island, together with the outlines of other islands to the left. An example of a later state, updated to 21 September 1565, with the addition of the imprint of Gaspar Albertus, is preserved in the Library of the Order of St John (LDOSJ 1309).

  • Pietro Paolo Palumbo (active 1563–?1586) : Rome (publisher) [bottom left:] Palumbi Nouarien curabant Romæ 1565 cú priuilegio

    Ascanio Palumbo (active 1559-65) (publisher)


  • Watermark: Peacock in circle [similar to Woodward nos 84 and 85]

    Condition: two fold lines; one fold line to mount, not coincident with the print fold line brown with age; old repair to tear, left; small hole, bottom centre. Verso: brown staining

  • 31.7 x 42.6 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

    38.7 x 51.9 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:


    Additional text:

    [right, in a cartouche:] Descrittione da un luoco al altro [bottom right, in a cartouche:] Recognita per Milites ordinis / Sti Johánis iusta tenorem / litterarum nouiter receptarum. / Vltima stápa recorretta da tutte l'altre / gia fatte fin a questo di 4 di Luglio 1565.


    George III heading: Malta 1565.

    Other annotations: (Recto) none. (Verso) [top left, on mount, black pencil:] II/38g; [top left, red pencil:] 1/36.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Malta A Plan of the Island of Malta with the Attacks of the Turks in 1565. Palumbi Novarien fecit, 1565.

  • Subject(s)

    Malta, independent political entity (35°55ʹ00ʺN 14°26ʹ00ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2681

    R. Mason and P. Willis, Maps of Malta in the Museum and Library of the Order of St John  A short catalogue, London 1989, no. 6

    R.V. Tooley, ‘Maps in Italian atlases of the sixteenth century, being a comparative list of the Italian maps issued by Lafreri, Forlani, Duchetti, Bertelli and others, found in atlases’, Imago Mundi III, 1939, pp. 12-47, no. 379

Page revisions

  • 25 May 2024