The battle of Pavia in 1525, in which Francis 1, King of France, was defeated and captured, had tremendous impact throughout Europe; it has been described as "marking the end of the Middle Ages". The contemporary panel painting which formed part of the foundation collection of the Ashmolean Museum in 1683 is one of the most dramatic and detailed images of Renaissance warfare. This book tells the story of the battle and of the making of this famous painting. This is the third title to appear in a uniform series of booklets illustrating and discussing major paintings in the Ashmolean's collections.
The painting, which includes numerous foot-soldiers and horsemen representing phases of the imperial assaults on the French besiegers shows a view of the city from the north giving a detailed, visual account, in a compressed synopsis, of the main recorded events of the Battle. Groups and individuals are identified with numbered labels or by their heraldic banners. The Battle of Pavia includes notes by the conservator who has worked on the picture and a chapter by Timothy Wilson on the heraldry depicted by the artist.