Seutter 1760


Plan tres exact et vüe de la ville, baye, et des nouvelles fortifications de Gibraltar : située au Detroit de ce nom tiré del l'original de Mr. Harcourt & mis nouvellement au jour. Augsbourg : Albert Charl. Seutter, [1760]. Christophe Daniel Ebeling Collection, no.3302. Gift of Israel Thorndike, 1818.

Seutter’s map of Gibraltar portrays this outpost at the southern end of the Iberian peninsula as the arena of a contest not only between England and Spain, but also between war (personified by Mars in his military accoutrements) and a more settled existence (represented by Juno with her scepter and peacock). Spain formally recognized British rule of Gibraltar in the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) but, throughout the 18th century, periodically sought to reassert its territorial claims. The cartouche presents a graphic argument for an end to hostilities by featuring Mercury with his caduceus (the staff of entwined serpents, which symbolized commerce) and a cornucopia (horn of plenty). Whatever is decided by the human arbiters of destiny, the sea (Neptune) will continue to determine the fate of ships sailing through the Pillars of Hercules.