Exhibition

Homer
Homer Homer

Homer

Homer

The iconography of Homer as a blind old musician is common in the seventeenth century and expresses the tradition of the poet singer, accompanying his verses to the sound of an instrument, in the semblance of the Aoidos as represented by Raffaello in the Parnassus of the Vatican. By representing him blind, bearded, crowned with [...]

Christ in Glory with Saints
Christ in Glory with Saints Christ in Glory with Saints

Christ in Glory with Saints

Christ in Glory with Saints

In the upper part of the composition, the Risen Christ appears accompanied by an angel bearing the banner of his resurrection. In the lower part in the foreground are a diversified group of saints. The most prominent of these saints is Saint Jerome, in the centre, bare torso with a red cloak covering his body [...]

St John the Baptist with Self-Portrait - Taverna
St John the Baptist with Artist’s Self-Portrait St John the Baptist with Artist’s Self-Portrait

St John the Baptist with Artist’s Self-Portrait

St John the Baptist with Artist’s Self-Portrait

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This is Mattia Preti’s artistic testament, painted for the Preti family chapel which he personally endowed in the church of the nobility in Taverna. The painting may have been completed around 1672 to be installed later in the family’s chapel. Preti depicts himself wearing the red tabard of the Order of St John holding sword [...]

St Peter and Paul + Bozzetto for Modena Cupola
Study for Sts Peter and Paul Study for Sts Peter and Paul

Study for Sts Peter and Paul

Study for Sts Peter and Paul

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This study for Saints Peter and Paul is related to Preti’s project for the cupola of the Carmelites’ church of  San Biagio in Modena (Italy). It is one of Preti’s many colour studies which do not, surprisingly, survive for the vault paintings of St John’s Co-Cathedral.

Virgin of Purity + Mattia and Gregorio Preti
The Virgin of Purity with Saints Nicholas of Bari and Januarius The Virgin of Purity with Saints Nicholas of Bari and Januarius

The Virgin of Purity with Saints Nicholas of Bari and Januarius

The Virgin of Purity with Saints Nicholas of Bari and Januarius

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This is one of Mattia Preti’s early commissions for Taverna painted in the Roman studio of his elder brother Gregorio. The figure of St Nicholas of Bari to the left is by Preti’s hand; the figure of St Januarius to the right is by his brother Gregorio. The painting clearly shows Preti’s mastery as from [...]

PF_016
The Beheaded Corpse of St John the Baptist The Beheaded Corpse of St John the Baptist

The Beheaded Corpse of St John the Baptist

The Beheaded Corpse of St John the Baptist

Fray Don Manuel de Arias y Porres (1638-1717), a prominent and high ranking member of the Order of St John, returned from Malta in 1682 to his native Spain after a long and successful career in the service of the Order as Vice Chancellor and Ambassador. In his baggage there were five paintings by the [...]

Mattia Preti Giving Alms to the Poor
Mattia Preti Distributing Alms to the Poor Mattia Preti Distributing Alms to the Poor

Mattia Preti Distributing Alms to the Poor

Mattia Preti Distributing Alms to the Poor

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This nineteenth century painting is the work of renowned Maltese painter Giuseppe Cali. Mattia Preti is shown  distributing alms to the poor, a charitable deed for which he was well renowned. Testimony of this is also featured on his tombstone and his biographer, Bernardo de Dominici, also quotes him as stating that he only painted [...]

The Crucifixion
The Crucifixion The Crucifixion

The Crucifixion

The Crucifixion

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This unusual representation of the crucifixion is one of a pair of paintings representing episodes from the life of Christ. The side wound takes centre stage and the unusual angle from which Christ can be viewed best suggests an intended acute angle such as that usually experienced by patients lying in bed. Sources suggest that [...]

MP-baptisim-of-christ
The Baptism of Christ The Baptism of Christ

The Baptism of Christ

The Baptism of Christ

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This painting was one of the first works by Mattia Preti to feature in the fine arts collection.  It represents the Baptism of Christ, painted in a colourful Venetian palette which preti adopted at a certain point in time possibly following a visit to Venice. Indeed, it contrasts sharply to other interpretations of the same [...]

Drawing for the Head of Christ
Drawing for the head of Christ Drawing for the head of Christ

Drawing for the head of Christ

Drawing for the head of Christ

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This fragment is part of a collection of drawings, dispersed in different collections, which served the purpose of a guide or reference for when Preti was painting the vault of the then Conventual church of St John’s, now St John’s Cathedral, Valletta. This particular drawings refers to the head of Christ in the scene representing [...]