Famous Calabrian People

Mattia Preti

He was born in Taverna on 24 th february 1613 and died in La Valletta (Malta) on 3rd january 1699 where he was buried in the church of Saint John that he himself painted. Like Caravaggio, the "CALABRIAN CAVALIER" expressed in his works the problem of the light and shade peinture and once again, like him, he had an aventful life and not completely known. He lived in Rome between 1630 and 1640 where he was knighted for obedience to the Gerosolimiti's order. Between 1644 and 1650, he lived in Emila and his visit is witnessed in the frescoes of Saint Biagio in Modena. Another important work by Preti is the series of marvellous frescoes of the Chorus of Saint Andrea Della Valle in Rome (1651). After 1656 he went to Naples where he painted ex-voto frescoes for the end of a plague and wonderful sketches of them may be seen in the Picture Gallery of Naples. In 1661 Preti was in Malta, where he painted the apse, the lunette and the vault of the Church of Saint John and from there the paintings he created with great fervour arrived in all Europe.