Celebrating the Liberation of Osijek following the Battle of Mohács in 1687
Fascinating images of the area around Osijek in northeastern Croatia.
Strategically located at the confluence of the Danube and the Drava, the city has been important since Roman times.
At the top is a view of the city of Osijek, showing the defensive walls and numerous minarets and houses of the city.
Below is a map of the wetlands around the city, the river Drava and a city plan with all the fortifications.
At the bottom, the image illustrates the Austrian imperial army, which under the leadership of Charles of Lorraine in 1687 besieged the city. Croatian troops are on the far right wing. On that occasion, Charles of Lorraine failed to conquer Osijek, but on his retreat he severely defeated the Turkish army under Suleiman Pasha, which followed him, thus enabling the conquest of Osijek a few months later. This victory resonated throughout Europe, as Osijek was a significant strategic place, which resulted in many illustrations and broadsides celebrating the conflict.
Mathaus Merian (1593-1650) was the father of engraver Matthäus the Younger, and of the painter, engraver, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and trained in engraving in Zurich. After a time in Nancy, Paris and Strasbourg, he settled in Frankfurt. While there, he worked for Johann Theodor de Bry, the publisher and son of the travel writer. In 1617, he married Maria Magdalena de Bry, Johann Theodor’s daughter. In 1623, Merian took over the de Bry publishing house upon the death of his father-in-law. Merian’s best known works are detailed town views which, due to their accuracy and artistry, form a valuable record of European urban life in the first half of the sixteenth century