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Matteo Perez d’Aleccio (1547 – 1616)

Matteo Perez d’Aleccio (1547 – 1616) was an Italian Painter from the city of Lecce.  D’Leccio painted 12 fescos showing the events of the Great Siege of Malta – 1565. These frescos can be found in the Throne Room, this was originally known as the Supreme Council Hall or Sale Del Maggior Consiglio, built during the reign of Grandmaster La Cassiere (1572-1581). The Hall became known as the Hall of St. Micahel and St George during British Administration, it is currently used for state functions held by the president of Malta. D’Aleccio’s Great Siege frescos can be found in the upper part of the hall.

The frescos show a contemporary record of a maritime event of the greatest important to European history. The frescos started being painted eleven years after the siege and although Matteo Perez d’Aleccio himself was not a witness to the event he relied heavily on Francisco Balbi di Corregio’s account of the Great Siege and on surviving Knights, including the Grand Master who surely furnished the artist with more information.

The 1565 Great Siege frescos  are one of the first major artistic commissions of the Order of St John in Malta.  The mural cycle includes twelve episodes from the Siege of Malta by the Turkish army happening between May and September of 1565 interspersed by allegorical figures representing Christian virtues. The fresco paintings have more in common with picture-book narration, where events are outlined in sequence, or occasionally together with multiple events even within a single picture.  Further to this sequential cycle, the rapid viewing of the images in succession may be compared to a cinematic film take, with the first frescos depicting the entire island from a distance and subsequent scenes transporting the viewer into the thick of the action.

See the spanish translation.