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1595 Valegio View of Valletta and vicinity, Malta


1595 Valegio View of Valletta and vicinity, Malta




Malta, olim Melita, Antonino Malthacia maris Mediterranei notissima insula, eiusdem nomi nis oppidum munitissimum habet; Quod Anno Salutis 1565. ob maximam Turcar classem dissipata, immorta: lem nominis celebritatem consecutum est.
  1595 (undated)     6.5 x 9.5 in (16.51 x 24.13 cm)


This is a scarce and beautiful Francesco Valegio view of Malta from c.1595. This beautifully illustrated view depicts the city of Valletta and its vicinity during the Siege of Malta in 1565. It illustrated the region from a birds-eye perspective, with ships sailing in the ocean, hills, buildings and trees rendered in profile. Various fortifications are noted, including Fort Saint Elmo and Fort St Angelo.

The Great Siege of Malta, known to be one of the bloodiest ever fought, was a battle between the Ottoman Empire and Knights of Malta. The Knights, under the command of Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Valette were heavily outnumbered against the massive Ottoman fleet of over 40000 soldiers. After the capture of Fort Saint Elmo following an assault that lasted nearly four weeks, the battle moved to Fort St Angelo on the other side of the Grand Harbor. St Angelo withstood the attacks, leading to victory for the Knights and eventually the Cristian alliance for control of the Mediterranean. At a point in the battle, following the capture of Fort Saint Elmo, the Ottomans decapitated the bodies of the Knights and floated the corpses across the Grand Harbor. In response, Velletta ordered that the Ottoman prisoners be executed and their heads used as cannons and fired into the Turkish camp. The great French philosopher Voltaire describes the battle as 'rien n'est plus connu que la siege de Malte' (nothing is so well known as the Siege of Malta).

Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Valette gained high praise for his command of the Knights. Valletta, Malta's capital city was founded and named after Grand Master Jean de la Valletta, who gained a hero's status following his command of the Knights during the siege. Three years later, his body would be buried there.

This magnificent view was created by Francesco Valegio in c.1595.


Very good. Original platemark visible. Narrow left and bottom margins. Minor spotting near centerfold.