- One of the earliest buildings to be erected in Valletta after 1571 was the Palace of the Grand Master. The principal hall was known as the Sala del Maggior Consiglio and was decorated with a running frieze depicting episodes of the 1565 Great Siege of Malta when the Knights Hospitallers emerged victorious against a formidable armada of the Ottoman Turks. In 1575 the Knights entrusted this commission to Matteo Perez D`Aleccio (1547- after 1628). After his work in Malta, he published in Rome a collection of engravings, practically reproducing his frieze paintings of the Great Siege in the Palace of the Grand Master. The same copper plates were slightly worked over again by the Florentine engraver Antonio Francesco Lucini, and published in 1631. This work is one of the sixteen engravings from the set published by Lucini.
- This work depicts the arrival of the Turkish army in Malta on 18th May 1565. It is also the first of Lucini`s engravings reproducing d`Aleccio`s first fresco panel in the Grand Master`s palace in Valletta. The work is dominated by a map of Malta dotted with scattered villages and hamlets, with a representation of Mdina, captioned "La citta Vecchia" (the old city), nearly at the centre of the island. The Ottoman fleet, some 200 vessels strong, appears over the western and north- western horizon and to the inhabitants seemed to make for a small bay on the western coast. D`Aleccio depicted the local cavalry making haste to reach the bay before the invading force in an attempt to discourage a landing. In fact, in what appears a change of plans, the Turks landed their troops in the south of the island, while the inhabitants of the countryside hastily abandoned their homes to seek refuge within the fortified enclaves.
- Inscription: Captioned: "Disegno dell` Isola di Malta et la Venuta Dell` Armata Turchesca a di XVIII di Maggio MD LXVI"
- Inscription: Inscribed on bottom of paper
- Inscription: DISEGNO DELL ISOLA DI MALTA ET LA VENVTA DELL ARMATA TVRCHESCA A DI X VIII DI MAGGIO M D LXVIVerissimo disegnio dellIsola di Mlata con tutti li Porti e Fortezze e Casali et li Maltesi ché can le loro robbe si conducano in sicuro uedendo uenire lArmata dellTurco la quale / Non piglio porto a Marzasirocco per il mar grosso ma girando lIsola uenne a dar fondo al Mugiaro in uenardi a di 18 di Maggio et ui stette il sabato iscaramuciãdo / con li nostri caualli e ferono prigione un Caualiero Franzese chiamato la Riuiera nellanno MDLXV. Si puo amplissimamente credere che Malta era per perdersi /se non fussero state le intecessioni della Gloriosa Vergine Madre di Christo appresso la Santissima Trinita et dellBeatiimo S Giouanni Battista et dellSantissimo Apostolo /Paolo et della benedetta S. Caterina quali anno in proteltione sua questa Isola. A. Porto del Mugiaro doue in prima messe in terra lArmata Turchescha et ~ /Uengano alle mani con li nostril caualli e fu fatto schiauo un Caualiero chiamato la Riuiera. B. LArmata Turchescha che gira lIsola non gli concedendo il tempo pigliar porto a /Marzasirocco. C. Galera in andata per riconoscere il Porto di Marzascirocco e perche era gran maretta con un tiro ne fa segno. D. Cinque galere della ~ /Religione alla bocca dellporto. E. In questo loco e la noua Citta chiamata Valletta.
- Repository/Location: National Museum of Fine Arts (Valletta, Malta)
- The engraver Antonio Francesco Lucini dedicated this set of engravings to the Italian Cardinal Antonio Barberini (1607- 1671), the nephew of Pope Urban VIII (1568- 1684), who was a big patron of the arts in Italy. The artist wrote his dedication on the top left side of the first page of the set of engravings. There is also the Barberini family symbol with the three bees in the cartouch in the centre of the page. [Create]
- Lucini, Antonio Francesco [Create]
- : 44 x 58 cm (without frame)
- Baroque [Create]
- 1631 [Create]
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