Samuel Graf von Schmettau
By WESTERMAYER, C[onrad] , 1805

Sam. Graf von Schmettau. Feldmareschal und Ritter des Schwarzen Adler_Ordens, Geb. den. 26ten Mrt. 1684. Gestrb. den 18ten Aug. 1751.

Art & Architecture
  • Author: WESTERMAYER, C[onrad]
  • Publication place: [Weimar
  • Publisher: Friedrich Justin Bertuch
  • Publication date: 1803].
  • Physical description: Stipple-engraved portrait.
  • Dimensions: 140 by 90mm. (5.5 by 3.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 17733


Samuel Graf von Schmettau (1684-1751) was a Prussian who began his military career by fighting in the battles of Blenheim and Malplaquet, continuing through the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-18, the wars of the Quadruple Alliance ((1718-20), the War of Polish Succession (1733-8), and the Russo-Austrian-Turkish War (1735-9). Retiring from military life at almost sixty years of age, Schmettau became a diplomat and served as a curator of the Academy of Sciences. Schmettau continued actively to educate himself, particularly in the field of cartography; in 1748, he created a four-sheet plan of Berlin widely regarded as the best of its time: ‘Plan de la Ville de Berlin’.

Schmettau’s portrait, accompanied by his rank, and dates of birth and death written below, was engraved for Issue 11 of ‘Allgemeine Geographische Ephemeriden’ by Conrad Westermayer, and may have been based on a portrait by Dutch painter Anna Dorothea Therbusch. It shows the veteran in a jacket and sash over what appears to be metal armour; he is wearing a powdered wig, and the image is set within an oval.