|Method||Copper engraved with early hand colour|
|Published||G. Bodenehr fecit et exc. Aug. Vind. [Augsburg, c.1740]|
|Dimensions||445 x 535 mm|
A rare and very unusual illustration of the Siege of Gibraltar by the Spanish in 1727, printed as a composite of three separate plates. The view, occupying the bottom of the map, provides a somewhat romanticized prospect of the famous Rock of Gibraltar. The Spanish forces can be seen to the left of the scene, with the trajectories of cannon shown. On the waterfront, sailing vessels attempt to set up a marine blockade. Gibraltar had fallen to the British in the War of the Spanish Succession, so took centre stage a decade after during the Anglo-Spanish war of 1727-29. The siege was ultimately a failure, as was the contemporaneous attempt by the British to claim Porto Bello, and the Treaty of Seville officially ratified the status quo that existed at the outbreak of the war.
The view is embedded in a large and very decorative border featuring four putti with symbols of peace and war, which Bodenehr seems to have acquired or adapted from Sébastien Pontault de Beaulieu's Les glorieuses Conquêtes de Louis-le-Grand, Roy de France, et de Navarre, published in 1694. The plate showing one of Louis' victories has been replaced with his own plate of Gibraltar, and in place of the portrait of the French King in the roundel at top, Bodenehr has substituted a vignette of Hercules in his lion skin, holding aloft a baroque cartouche featuring a pyramid and the inscription 'Sola Gloriosa Quae Iusta' - The only glories are those which are just.
Gabriel Bodenehr (1664-1758) was a German engraver, geographer, and publisher, and a scion of the Augsburg-based Bodenehr family of engravers.
Condition: Central vertical fold, as issued. Sheet trimmed close to plate mark as issued. Minor time toning to central fold and edges of sheet. Blank on verso.