Battle Against the Turks Before a Fortified City
(1712–1716), oil, canvas, 93 x 122,5 cm
Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana
The picture shows a fierce cavalry battle between Christians and the Turks, whom we recognise by their clothing and hairstyles; the battle is raging beneath the walls of a city with a mountain close by. As is usual in such paintings, the place and the event are complete fantasy and only symbolically recall the battles of the imperial army against the Ottoman forces. The attribution of the painting to Antonio Calza is based on a comparison with other works traditionally attributed to the painter, such as for example the canvas in the Museo di Castelvecchio in Verona (Inv. No. 841). There are only minor differences between the main group in the middle of that painting and the two cavalry figures on our painting. It should be noted that according to Luigi Crespi (Vite de’ Pittori Bolognesi non descritte nella Felsina Pittrice, Rome 1769, p. 185) Antonio Calza painted a picture of the Conquest of Belgrade for Prince Eugene of Savoy of which no trace can be found today. It is possible that our painting falls into the artist’s Viennese period, that is the time between 1712 and 1716.
Restored: 1960, ZSV, Ljubljana.
Provenance: Unknown. FCC, 1945; entrusted to the ALU for a planned gallery, 1951; entrusted to the Narodna galerija for exhibition in 1994.
Exhibitions: 1960, Ljubljana, No. 33; 1993, Ljubljana, No. 36.
Lit.: Cevc 1960, p. 24, Cat. No. 33, Fig. 23 (Matteo Stom [Stonn]); Zeri [& Rozman] 1983, p. 122, Cat. No. 36, Fig. 35.