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Thirty Years War (1618-48)

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

The Thirty Years War began as a religious war, fought between Roman Catholics and Protestants in Germany. It developed into a political struggle between the Catholic Habsburgs of the Holy Roman Empire (Austria, most of the German princes and occasionally Spain). They were opposed by Denmark, Sweden, Catholic France and the Protestant princes of Germany. The war ended with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

The large majority of the maps and views covering this war were acquired, in the first instance, by the Italian collector, Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588–1657) and his brother, Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606–89). After Carlo Antonio’s death in 1689, the collection was eventually sold by his grandson to Pope Clement XI (reg. 1700–21) in 1703. In 1714, it passed to the Pope’s nephew, Cardinal Alessandro Albani (1692–1779), from whom it was purchased in 1762 by George III.

These prints formed part of the celebrated ‘Paper Museum’ which was built up by the dal Pozzos from purchases made from the flourishing printmaking industry, primarily in Italy, but also in France, the Netherlands and Germany. Many of the items are rare or are early impressions from the copperplates. They document the conflicts of the day and, in the seventeenth century, were often accompanied by letterpress text giving up to date information about, for example, the progress of a siege.

The dal Pozzos took care to arrange and present their prints and drawings in logical subject divisions such as costumes, architecture, portraits, natural history and military conflicts. The items were mounted on paper, sometimes with ink framing lines drawn around the print (mount type A) and sometimes without (mount type B). These two types of paper mount can be seen on the prints of the military engagements in this section.

Cassiano began his collection not long after this war broke out. Covering the major battles and sieges, the collection is particularly rich in the accompanying printed texts that were published with the maps and prints, and which rarely survive.

Also includes the Franco-Spanish War (1635-59).

 

War of the Mantuan Succession (1628-31)

France fought the Habsburgs for control of Northern Italy

1620-32

The early years of the war

1633-6

Second section

1637-9

Third section

1640-3

Fourth section

1644-8

Final section