FRANCESCO MONTI, IL BRESCIANINO (Brescia 1646-1712 Brescia) Scenes from the Battle of Vienna: A Pair.
Both pen and dark brownish black ink and brown wash with traces of black chalk on cream laid paper, circa 1685. One sheet 500x348 mm; 19 5/8x13 3/4 inches; the other sheet 513x362 mm; 20 1/4x14 1/4 inches (both oval).
Both ex-collection Contessa Margherita Cavranzola, Milan (not in Lugt); sold Christie's London, December 15, 2000, lot 46; to a private foundation; sold Christie's, New York, January, 25, 2007, lot 33; private collection, New York.
Monti was well-known as a battle painter and worked for the ruling family of Parma. He trained with Pietro Ricci (1606-1675) and Jacques Courtois (1621-1675), both significant battle artists of the 17th century.
The Battle of Vienna took place around Kahlenberg Mountain near Vienna on September 12, 1683, after the imperial city had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. The battle was fought by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire, under the command of King John III Sobieski against the Ottomans and their vassal and tributary states. The battle marked the first time the Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire had cooperated militarily against the Ottomans, and it is often seen as a turning point in history. The battle was a significant defeat for the Ottoman Empire and, in the ensuing war that lasted until 1699, the Ottomans were driven back from Europe and lost almost all of Hungary to the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.