|Artist||Theodor de Bry|
|Published||[Theodor de Bry, Frankfurt am Main, 1596]|
|Dimensions||Image 153 x 132 mm, Sheet 207 x 173 mm|
A bust portrait of the Donika Kastrioti, seen at half length in a profile from the right, in an oval frame with elaborate strapwork. She is wearing a large shawls over her crown and dress, and her neck is adorned with several jewels with pearls and a large cross.
Inscription above portrait: "Epiri Regina Vt Sis ... Poterat Forma Plæcere Iovi"
Inscription below portrait: "Tanta Tvo Es ... Dei Damia Viro"
Donika Kastrioti (née Andronika Arianiti-Muzaka) was born into the Arianti family of Albanian nobility. She married Skanderbeg in 1451.
Skanderbeg, the national hero of Albania, George Castriota (1403-1467), was the son of the Lord of Kroia. In his youth, he was handed over to the Turks as a hostage. After converting to Islam, he served the Ottoman state for some twenty years, earning the soubriquet Iskander Bey (or Skanderbeg) in deference to his military prowess, in flattering comparison to that of Alexander the Great. In 1443, at a time when Turkish domination was advancing throughout the Balkans, Skanderbeg proclaimed his Christian faith and revolted against the invaders. For the remainder of his life, he devoted himself to the pursuit of guerrilla warfare against the Turks, seeking to unite the Albanian chieftains in resistance, and appealing to the papacy and the various states of Italy for aid. However, Skanderbeg's remarkable military success did not long outlive him. In 1474 his son sold the Principality of Kroia to Venice, which the ceded it the Turks four years later.
Theodor de Bry (1528-1598) was a Flemish-born engraver and editor, who travelled Europe. De Bry fled from Liège in fear of the Spanish persecution of Protestants, lived in Strasbourg, travelled to Antwerp, then London, and finally settled in Frankfurt-am-Main, where he started a publishing business and printing workshop.
Ex. Col.: House of Savoy
Condition: Trimmed within the plate mark and grangerized album page.