"Theatrum Europaeum XVIII Theil", Merian, Matthaus
Subject: Title Pages
Period: 1720 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
7 x 10.8 inches
17.8 x 27.4 cm
Matthaus Merian's 21 volume history of Europe was published over an incredible 103-year span from 1635 to 1738. The title pages and frontispieces were evocative, allegorical illustrations of the themes of the particular volume. A female figure representing the Christian forces of Europe is shown holding down Medusa, who represents the Islamic Ottoman Empire, while warriors fight in the background. Medusa is depicted here in a weakened state, but not defeated. The figure of Justice is in the background catching stars in the heavens. Volume eighteen covered the period between 1707-1709, after Austria and her allies had won the Great Turkish War, but the Great Northern War still raged on in Russia and Eastern Europe. King Charles XII of Sweden fled to the Ottoman Empire following his defeat against the Russians at the Battle of Poltava in 1709. He eventually persuaded the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III to declare war on Russia, which resulted in the Russo-Turkish War of 1710-1711.
Narrow right side margin (1/16 - 1/8") as issued.