Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Talented Tuesday - Mattia Preti of Taverna, Cosenza, Calabria
In 1656 Mattia left Florence for Naples where he stayed until 1659. He studied here under Luca Giordano (1634-1705). While in Naples, what was considered to be among Mattia's greatest masterpieces were painted. They were are series of frescos painted on the seven city gates depicting the plague. Painted throughout these frescos were images of the Blessed Mother and saints delivering people from the plague. Time has destroyed these frescos, however, some of Mattia's sketches have survived and can be seen today in the Capodimonte Museum in Naples.
Most of Mattia Preti's art survives today in some of the world's greatest museums. The Lourve in Paris holds at least 15 works. The National Gallery in London hosts his painting The Marriage At Cana. Further works can be seen in art galleries and museums throughout the United States, Canada, Italy as well as Copenhagen, Romania, Madrid, France, St. Petersburg, Russia, Australia, and Vienna. His portrait of a Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Martin de Redin done in 1660 can been seen in Chicago's Art Institute. It was Martin de Redin who commissioned Preti to paint the alter at The Cathedral of St. John in Malta. This beautiful art can still be viewed there. A list of museums that hold Preti masterpieces can be viewed at Art Encyclopedia with links to images of his art on the museum websites.
If you are interested in other artists born in Calabria, you can view a previous blog post about Giuseppe Naso of Tropea here.