In this elaborate engraving, a confident Prince Eugene of Savoy commands forces of the Holy Roman Empire as they move into the Alps during the War of the Spanish Succession. The 13-year conflict, sparked by the death of the childless Charles II of Spain, pitted the French Bourbons against a Grand Alliance formed by England, the Netherlands, the Holy Roman Empire, and ultimately several German states.
Below the larger Alpine scene, smaller images depict the Italian fortified city of Cremona (far left), where Eugene’s forces captured a French commander in 1702 (center left). The lower portion of the engraving features a detailed map, “drawn on the memories of the cleverest engineers,” of roads and armed encampments in northern Italy. The entire engraving anchors the upper left corner of a quadriptych titled, “The Grand Theatre of War in Italy.” The three other panels extend the mapped area east into Bavaria and Austria and south through central Italy.