Mattheaus Merian the First's engraving depicting the Battle of Rain, a Bavarian engagement of the Thirty Years' War.
This print shows the moment after the Swedish troops ceased bombarding the Catholic army and erected a pontoon to cross the river. Various points of interest are labeled throughout the battle. The print shows the Finnish cavalry, or Hakkapeliitta, in the foreground.
The Battle of Rain, also known as the Battle of the River Lech, was fought between the Swedish-German Protestants and the Catholic League in Bavaria. The crossing of the river, as shown in this engraving, was the definitive feature of the battle and resulted in an overwhelming Protestant victory and the death of the Catholic leader.
This print was originally published as part of Danckerts rare multi-volume work the Historis, published in Frankfurt in 1632.
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