Bertelli, Pietro

1599

Early antique birds-eye plan of Valetta, Malta

Malta

DESCRIPTION: A charmingly detailed birds-eye plan of the area around Valletta, Malta which appeared in the scarce first edition of Pietro Bertelli's "Theatrum Urbium Italicarum", Venice, 1599. Features that Bertelli noted by name on the copper-engraved plan include Malta Citta, Castel di S. Angelo, Castel S. Elmo, Borgo S. Angelo, and Borgo S. Michel. Some experts consider this to be "one the earliest obtainable plans of Malta". With a Maltese-cross cartouche and numerous galleys shown in the harbor.

Produced less than forty years after the Siege of Malta in May 1565, when the Ottoman Empire invaded Malta, then held by the Knights Hospitaller (also known as the Knights of Malta or Knights of Rhodes).

The years leading up to the Siege in 1565 saw the Islands under constant threat from the Ottoman Turks. In 1551, the Ottomans carried out an audacious raid, which saw most of Gozo's population taken into slavery. In 1559, the Knights responded, but with a disastrous attack on Djerba, the Ottoman stronghold on the Tunisian coast.

The Knights knew they were vulnerable in Malta despite the harbours and their two forts, St. Angelo, in what is now Vittoriosa, and newly-built St. Elmo, on the open peninsula of Mount Sciberras overlooking the harbours (later known as Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour). The heroic Knights and Maltese citizens stuggled for many weeks and at the beginning of September, the Ottomans were concerned about having to remain in Malta during the winter, with a long supply-line, and their morale began to fade. Long-awaited relief forces appeared at Mellieħa Bay and the Ottoman troops retreated, but not before losing thousands more men. Today Malta's capital Valetta is named after the Knight's Grand Master Jean de la Valette. (Internet)

CREATOR: Bertelli, Pietro

PUBLICATION DATE: 1599

GEOGRAPHIC AREA: Malta

BODY OF WATER: Mediterranean Sea

CONDITION: Very Good.  Good impression. Clean on fine watermarked laid paper. Latin text on verso.

COLORING: None

ENGRAVER: 

SIZE: 7 " x 4 "

ITEM PHYSICAL LOCATION: 4

PRICE: $575


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