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Aerial View of the Siege of Breda
Snayers, Peter
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Snayers, Peter

Antwerp (Belgium), 1592 - Brussels (Belgium), 1667

Snayers, Peter See author's file

Aerial View of the Siege of Breda

First half of the XVII century. Oil on canvas. Not on display

The plaza occupies the center of the image, surrounded by the fortifications and the camp. Amprosio Spínola appears in a carriage alongside a group of riders and footmen in the right foreground. On the left, a cartouche details the different positions in Italian, with indicative letters and numerals. We have detailed knowledge of this crucial moment in the War of Flanders, thanks to Hermann Hugo´s book, Obsidio Bredana (Antwerp, 1626), an engraved set of six large plates by Jacques Callot with indications by engineer Giovanni Francesco Cantagallina, who witness the siege; and Descripción de la Villa y sitio de Breda, which was published in Antwerp in 1628 with explanations of Callot´s engravings. Drawing on these sources and on other maps, Snayers painted three different versions of The Seige of Breda, all of which are at the Museo del Prado (P1743, without the protagonists; P1747, with the visit of Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia, and P1748, with Spinola´s visit and a closer view of the operations).

This work was listed in the inventory of Madrid´s Alcázar Palace as part of the decoration of "the room where His Majesty does business in the Summer Quarters." There, it was accompanied by a view of the Seige of Ostend, and the images of these two emblematic victories by Spanish monarchs during the second half of the War of Flanders must have considerably influenced Philip IV in his office. According to the royal inventories, this canvas "was brought by the Marquis of Leganés". In 1686, it is listed in the first room of the Priory, and in 1797, at Viñuelas Castle (Text drawn from Díaz Padrón, M.: El Siglo de Rubens en el Museo del Prado, 1995).

Technical data

Inventory number
Snayers, Peter
Aerial View of the Siege of Breda
First half of the XVII century
Height: 140 cm.; Width: 226 cm.
Royal Collection (colección I Marqués de Leganés, regalada a Felipe IV; Real Alcázar, Madrid, pinturas desmontadas-pieza pequeña de las bóvedas de la priora, 1686, s.n.; Castillo de Viñuelas, Madrid, Sesta pieza, 1794, [s.n.])

Bibliography +

I Exposicion Historico-Militar, Graficas del Sur, Sevilla, 1971.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Díaz Padrón, Matías, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de pinturas. Escuela flamenca, Museo del Prado; Patrimonio Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1975, pp. 360-361.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 642-643.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº2719.

Díaz Padrón, Matías, El siglo de Rubens en el Museo del Prado: catálogo razonado, II, Prensa Ibérica, Barcelona, 1995, pp. 1234.

El final de la Guerra de Flandes 1621-1648, Fundación Carlos de Amberes, Madrid, 1998, pp. 100-101, nº37.

Le Peintre et L'Arpenteur. Images de Bruxelles et de L'Ancie..., La Renaissance du Livre, Tournai, 2000.

Stoichita, Victor Ieronim, Cómo saborear un cuadro y otros estudios de historia del arte, Cátedra, Madrid, 2009.

Luna, J. J., Guerra y pintura en las colecciones del Museo del Prado. S. XVI a Goya, Arte en tiempos de guerra Jornadas de Arte (14º.2008.Madrid), 2009.

Díaz Padrón, Matías, Testimonio y legado de la Guerra de Flandes en la pintura flamenca en tiempos de los Austrias, Arte en tiempos de guerra Jornadas de Arte (14º.2008.Madrid), Madrid, 2009, pp. 171-181.

Picouet, Pierre, Les Tercios Espagnols 1600-1660, LRT Éditions, 2010.

Gehring, Ulrike, 'Painted topographies.A transdiciplinary approach to science and technology in seventeenth-century landscape painting' En:, Mapping spaces. Networks of Knowledge in 17th Century Lands., Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe - Hirmer, 2014, pp. 22-93 [53 nt.86, 59, 62 Lám. 25.1].

Martínez Leiva, Gloria; Rodríguez Rebollo, Ángel, El inventario del Alcázar de Madrid de 1666. Felipe IV y su colección artística, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 2015, pp. 405 nº 467.

Pérez Preciado, José Juan, 'Reyes Gobernadores, Nobles, Funcionarios y Artistas. La incesante llegada de obas de arte a España desde los Paises Bajos en el s.XVII', Aragón y Flandes. Un encuentro artístico (siglos XV-XVII), Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, 2015, pp. 132-142 [140].

Sennewald, Roland, Pieter Snayers , 1592-1667: battle painter of the 17th century, Zeuchaus Verlag,, Berlin, 2018, pp. 160-173 [160-169].

Other inventories +

Inv. Felipe IV, Alcázar de Madrid, 1686. Núm. s. n..
Pinturas desmontadas [...] Pieza pequeña de dichas Bóvedas de la Priora, debajo del Despacho de Verano [...] {1538} Un Lienço del Sitio de Breda de dos varas y media de ancho y vara y media de alto Pintura flamenca

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 2719.
P. Sayers. / 2719. La toma de Breda. / Alto 4 pies, 11 pulg, 6 lin; ancho 2 pies, 1 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1675a.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in red color. Front, lower left corner

Scrap of paper. Frame, back, right side bar

Etiqueta. Nº 2719 monooo-La toma de la plaza de Breda. P. Snayders
Inscribed in golden colour. Stretcher

M.N.PRADO / 01748
On metallic tablet. Stretcher

nº 1748
Inscribed with chalk. Frame, back, upper bar

nº 1748
Scrap of paper. Frame, back, upper bar

nº 1748
Scrap of paper. Stretcher

PPS 1675-a
Inscribed with chalk. Back, Upper area

Inscribed with chalk. Stretcher

P.S. fecit (en la pajarera que porta un muchacho)
Inscribed in brown color. Front, lower central area


Exhibitions +

Le peintre et L'arpenteur. Images de Bruxelles et de L'ancien Duché de Brabant
15.09.2000 - 12.12.2000

El final de la Guerra de Flandes (1621-1648). Conmemoraciónde la paz de Münster
10.09.1998 - 01.11.1998

Update date: 05-01-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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