The Siege of Candia, during which Ottoman forces attacked and seized the Venetian-ruled city of Candia (modern Heraklion, Crete), lasted from 1648 until 1669. General Sea Captain Francesco Morosini, commander of the Venetian forces eventually surrendered to Grand Vizier Ahmed Köprülü in September 1699. As part of the negotiations, Venice retained possession of three fortresses on islets - Grambusa, Souda and Spinalonga - which protected natural harbours where the Venetian ships could stop on their passage to the East. In this painting, the catholic gules saltire on a silver field (St Patrick's cross, Burgundy cross, Crusaders' cross) flying from the fortress are contrasted with the muslim flags with their croissants verss. Peeters painted several views of the island during this period, including The City of Candia, circa 1650, engraved by J. and G. Bouttats.
We are grateful to Jan van Helmont for identifying the flags and in turn the subject of this painting.