Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mattia Preti

St John's Cathedral, Valletta, Malta
Today is the 400th anniversary of the birth of a beloved artist who left a memorable imprint in Malta. Born in Taverna, Italy on the 24th of February 1613, Mattia Preti is one of the major exponents of baroque art of the seventeenth century who for forty years, lived and worked in Malta leaving a priceless legacy of works. After a long spell working in Rome and nearly a decade in Naples, Mattia Preti moved to Malta, attracted by the potential patronage of the Knights. Between 1661 and 1666, he painted the huge vault inside St John’s Co-Cathedral after which he was made Knight of Grace. 
A section of the ceiling vault, painted by Mattia Preti

The paintings depict various scenes from the life of Saint John the Baptist. His contribution to art in Malta is outstanding; his artworks grace local churches, then built by small rural communities which for the first time ever, could access baroque works of art by one of its major exponents. He spent the remaining 40 years of his life living and working in Malta until his death on the 3rd January 1699. Mattia Preti is buried inside St John’s Co-Cathedral.

No comments:

Post a Comment