This picture belongs to a group of works whose contents refer to the glorification of the person and heroic deeds of King John III Sobieski after the relief of Vienna, which crowned his military successes as a warrior monarch. The glory of the Vienna victor was widely discussed in the entire Europe. Sobieski and his entourage skilfully fuelled these attitudes, carefully constructing the legend, closely connected with the king's dynastic plans. The King reported the triumph to Pope Innocent XI paraphrasing, in the spirit of the Christian humility, the famous words of Caesar: Venimus, vidimus et Deus Vicit. It is not surprising that in such favourable circumstances there appeared numerous commissions for pictures which would immortalise the splendour of that triumph through various artistic means. Once more it was evident how crucial art may be in the self-presentation of a monarch. It does not seem that the artist knew the battle from his own experience. This rendition is more likely an idea of the battle, composed by Casteels for the purpose of the commision.


  • Title: Battle of Vienna
  • Date Created: 1683 - 1685
  • Technique: oil on canvas
  • Physical Dimensions: w1840 x h1560 mm
  • Painter: Pauwel Casteels
  • Original Title: Bitwa pod Wiedniem
  • Description: Signature: […]ONSAEL / […]SSTEELS at the bottom left edge of the picture and WENEN (means: VIENNA) over the tower of the cathedral.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Wilanów Palace Museum, Photo: Z. Reszka

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