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Maps, prints and letterpress text covering the major battles and sieges

Raphael Sadeler the Younger (1584-1632)

Battle of Bílá Hora and Prague, 1620

DELINEATIONIS / Aciei et pugnæ ad Pragam / Bohemiæ Metropolim factæ, / Tabulis quatuor expressæ 1620 or later

Engraving and etching; printed from two copperplates on two sheets of paper, joined’ mounted on paper (Mount Type A), mount cropped | 42.7 x 71.1 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 721141.a

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A low oblique view of the earliest stage of the Battle of Bílá Hora (White Mountain), when the Bavarian army caught up with the Bohemians at the small bridge over the marshes. The battle was fought on 8 November 1620 between Protestant rebels of Bohemia, commanded by Prince Christian of Anhalt (11 May 1568-17 April 1630) and the Catholic forces of the Holy Roman Empire (Bavaria, commanded by Johan Tserclaes, Count of Tilly (February 1559-30 April 1632), resulting in an Imperial victory. Thirty Years War (1618-1648).

This view shows the coming together of the two armies at first light on the 8th November. The ill disciplined Bohemian troops (C and D) are seen occupying the upland area to the left, while the Imperial forces (A) and the Duke of Bavaria (B) are arriving from the right. To the left of the retreating Bohemian troops, behind a wall, is the Royal Summer House and Royal Garden which was commissioned by Anna Jagiellonian (1503-1547), wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, from the Genoese builder Paolo della Stella (d.1552; Miller, p.252) which was begun in 1537.

This is the first in a series of four plates depicting the battle (see RCINs 721141.c, e, g). The explanatory letterpress text to this view is at RCIN 721141.b.

A smaller version of this print, by Jan Sadeler was published by Raphael Sadeler II in 1621 as one of four prints with a separate title-page. These smaller prints carried the title and key in letterpress, printed on the same sheet as the view (see also BM 1897,0113.66; Hollstein 140-144). 

The date of 7 November has been included in the George III catalogue entry. This is an error. Although the Bohemian army arrived on Bílá Hora on the night of 7th/8th November, the battle itself took place on the 8th.

  • Raphael Sadeler the Younger (1584-1632) (engraver) [bottom, right of centre:] Cum priuilegio Sacræ Cæs: Maiestatis. Raph Sadeler Iunior fecit.

  • Watermark: Coat of arms: a bunch of grapes on stand in shield, the letter ‘M’ resting on each shoulder of the shield, the letter 'A' below shield

    Condition: four fold lines; creased; six tears along folds and creases; considerable wear along folds; top right corner missing; some brown discolouration. Verso: remains of Mount Type A; no gilt edges

  • 42.7 x 71.1 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

  • Printed title:

    DELINEATIONIS / Aciei et pugnæ ad Pragam / Bohemiæ Metropolim factæ, / Tabulis quatuor expressæ. [top centre, in a scrolled cartouche]

    Additional text:

    [across top of view:] TABVLA I. IN QVA PRIMVS CONFLICTVS EXCERCITVS BAVARICI CVM HOSTIBVS AD PONTICVLVM IN AVRORA FACTVS DESCRIBITV[R].

    Annotations:

    George III heading: Prague Nov.r 1620.

    Other annotations: none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Prague Delineationes Aciei et Pugnæ ad Pragam Factæ 7 Novembris 1620, tabulis quatuor expressæ: per Raph. Sadeler: cum Descriptionibus.

     

  • From the collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-22 October 1657); inherited by his brother, Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606-1689); 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)

    Bílá Hora, near Prague, Czech Republic (50°05ʹ00ʺN  14°20ʹ00ʺE)

    Prague, Hlavní Mesto Praha, Czech Republic (50°05'16"N 14°25'14"E)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    D. Miller, ‘The Czech Republic’,  in R. Frucht (Ed), Eastern Europe: an introduction to the people, land, and culture, Santa Barbara 2005

    G. Pagès, The Thirty Years War 1618-1648, London 1970, pp.71-73

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2823

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