Mattia Preti was born in Taverna, a small town in Calabria (Italy) in 1613. He came to Malta in 1659 as a member of the Order of the Knights of St John and died here in 1699. To mark the 400th anniversary since his birth, an exhibition of some of his major works will be held in Valletta. The exhibition will feature paintings on loan from, among others, the Prado (Madrid), the Louvre (Paris), Uffizzi (Florence), Musei Vaticani (Rome) and Museo di Capodimonte (Naples) together with local masterpieces from the National Museum of Fine Arts and various churches. During his lifetime, Preti was a prolific painter and his works adorn many a church and country chapel. The artist’s exuberant style is representative of the late Baroque period. Many consider the narrative cycle based on the life and martyrdom of St John the Baptist that he painted on the ceiling of St John’s Cathedral in Valletta, to be his crowing glory. Mattia Preti, also known as Il Cavalier Calabrese (the Knight from Calabria), is buried in St John’s Cathedral, Valletta.
A section of the vault of St John’s Cathedral (the pink spots are from my camera)
The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine
Mattia Preti – Faith and Humanity
The Palace State Rooms
4 May – 7 July
Open daily from 10.00hrs till 16.00hrs
To learn more about this exhibition that is being organised by Heritage Malta go here.
For other events in Malta in May go here.