Joris van Bredael – Jan III Sobieski in Vienna –
The Battle of Vienna (German: Schlacht am Kahlen Berge or Kahlenberg (Battle of the Bald Mountain); Polish: bitwa pod Wiedniem or odsiecz wiedeńska (The Relief of Vienna); Modern Turkish: İkinci Viyana Kuşatması, Ottoman Turkish: Beç Ḳalʿası Muḥāṣarası) took place at Kahlenberg Mountain near Vienna on 12 September 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, after which “the Ottoman Turks ceased to be a menace to the Christian world”. In the ensuing war that lasted until 1699, the Ottomans lost almost all of Hungary to the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.
The battle was won by the combined forces of the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the latter represented only by the forces of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland (the march of the Lithuanian army was delayed, and they reached Vienna after it had been relieved). The Viennese garrison was led by Ernst Rüdiger Graf von Starhemberg, an Austrian subject of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. The overall command was held by the senior leader, the King of Poland, John III Sobieski, who led the relief forces.
The opposing military forces were those of the Ottoman Empire and Ottoman fiefdoms, commanded by Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha. The Ottoman army numbered approximately 90,000 to 200,000 men (according to documents on the order of battle found in Kara Mustafa’s tent, initial strength at the start of the campaign was 170,000 men). They began the siege on 14 July 1683. Ottoman forces consisted, among other units, of 60 ortas or Janissaries (12,000 men paper-strength) with an observation army of some 70,000 men watching the countryside. The decisive battle took place on 12 September, after the arrival of the united relief army.
Historians suggest the battle marked the turning point in the Ottoman–Habsburg wars, a 300-year struggle between the Holy Roman and Ottoman Empires. During the 16 years following the battle, the Austrian Habsburgs gradually recovered and dominated southern Hungary and Transylvania, which had been largely cleared of Ottoman forces. The battle is noted for including the largest known cavalry charge in history.
Joris van Bredael (1 January 1661 – c. 1706) was a Flemish painter known for his battle scenes and cityscapes representing some popular celebration or feast. He was a member of the prominent artistic family van Bredael.
He was born in Antwerp into an artist family as the second son of Peeter van Bredael, a well-known painter specializing in market scenes and village feasts set in Italianate landscapes. His mother was An Veldener, the daughter of the sculptor Jennyn Veldener. Two of his brothers, Jan Peeter the Elder and Alexander van Bredael became painters. Joris likely trained under his father. He became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1684.
He married Johanna Maria van Diepenbeeck, the daughter of the prominent Baroque painter Abraham van Diepenbeeck, on 25 July 1681. Their two children Jozef and Jan Pieter both became painters. Joris’ first wife died c. 1689-90. He married a second time to Anne van der Dort.
He worked in Antwerp for the art dealers such as Forchondt. In 1690 Forchondt sent to the representatives of the family business in Vienna six battle scenes by Joris van Bredael including a Relief of Vienna, a Capture of Buda, a Capture of Belgrade and a Capture of Gran.
On the basis of a painting of a winter view of Vienna, which is attributed to him, it is sometimes assumed he spent time in Vienna.
He was the teacher of Joannes Ludovicus Daudenfort and of his two sons.
Very few paintings of Joris Bredael have been preserved. He is mainly known for his battle scenes and city views typically representing some popular celebration or feast. An example of a city view is A sledge carousel in the courtyard of the Hofburg, Vienna, in the reign of Leopold I (Sold by Christie’s on 24 April 1998 in London, lot 73). It represents a sledge-ride at night in the squares and streets of Vienna, a favourite pastime of the Viennese during the winter months.
A battle piece attributed to him is the Battle between Christian and Osman Soldiers (Sold by Lempertz on 28 September 2011 in Cologne, lot 8). His family members, including his sons, often made similar battle pieces, which seem to have responded to a demand by the European nobility for depictions of their victories over the Turks.[