LUCINI, Anton Francesco – LA VENUTA DELL’GRAN SOCCORSO A DI VII DI SETTEMBRE DEL MDLXV.

LUCINI, Anton Francesco – LA VENUTA DELL’GRAN SOCCORSO A DI VII DI SETTEMBRE DEL MDLXV.

Description

LUCINI, Anton Francesco (1610-c1661) – F.° XIII.
Title of Map: LA VENUTA DELL’GRAN SOCCORSO A DI VII DI SETTEMBRE DEL MDLXV.
Dist./ Features: The arrival and disembarkation of the Great Relief.
Engraver: Anton Francesco Lucini
Title: DISEGNI / DELLA GVERRA,
Publisher: Nicolò Allegri
Place: Rome
Year: 1631
Engraving size: 302 (347 including text) x 430 mm
Verso: blank
Printing method: copper engraving
Notes: The detailed engraving shows the last day of the campaign in which the Knights of Malta assisted by the newly arrived Spanish relief forces, under the command of the Viceroy of Sicily, were finally victorious over the besieging Ottoman army. The Spanish navy is shown arriving in great numbers from the north, shooting canon at the Turkish ships moored to the northeast of the island as the come. Spanish troops advance as an overwhelming army towards the besieged fortified city of Medina. This decisive Spanish victory at the Great Siege of Malta followed by the sea battle of Lepanto in 1571 finally halted the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the western part of the Mediterranean. The Knights of Malta, the successors of the Hospitalliers of St. John, were traditionally feudatories of the King of Spain, and therefore indirectly to the Spanish Viceroy in Sicily, who therefore had an obligation to assist the King against Ottoman aggression. Although under immense pressure to intervene militarily, he was unable to react sooner to the increasing seriousness of the situation, managing only to send a small relief force in early July of that year. By the beginning of September he had collected sufficient ships and men to intervene more effectively. Wary of the vicinity of the Turkish navy, he made a cautious approach in heavy weather, and having landed his men in the north, his men then marched to Mdina at the centre of the island, still relatively uninvolved in the Siege operations.During the sixteenth-century the Ottomans were at almost constant war with the Hapsburg Empire in the western Mediterranean. In 1516 the Habsburg Prince Karl was crowned King of Spain and became Charles I. In 1519 he became Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V (although he wasn’t crowned as such until 1530), after which he united the Mediterranean and European – essentially Christian – lands against the ‘infidel’ armies of the Ottoman Empire.

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