- 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.
- The painter`s principal intention was to give an overview of the core fortified defences that the Knights Hospitallers had prepared over three decades of debates and arguments concerning the best strategic stance. On the other side of the Grand Harbour, opposite Sciberras peninsula, there were two tongues of land jutting into the harbour water. On the tip of one of these, there was a medieval fortress, called Fort St. Angelo, which was enlarged and considerably strenghtened. The Borgo stretched beneath the Fort, occupying the rest of that tongue of land which was surrounded with defensive walls, particularly massive on the exposed landward. The adjoining tongue of land, commonly termed "L`Isola" was similarly fortified, erecting there a new fortress, called fort St. Michael. Thus the two fortified tongues, although devided by a stretch of sea, were turned into a single defensive core. The validity of all this strategic planning became evident on 27 June 1565, when a well planned Ottoman assault by land and sea on the "Isola" defences was replused because the Knights were able to move men swiftly from their base in the "Borgo" to the various crisis points in the "Isola" enclave.
- Inscription: Captioned: "L`Assedio e Batteria Dell`Isola di San Michele a di XXVIII di Giugno"
- Inscription: LASSEDIO E BATTERIA DELLISOLA DI S. MICHELE A DI XXVIII DI GIVGNO F°. VII / Dopo la presa di Santermo fuggirno molti rinegati dalli quali se intese che il Bassa uoleua battere le fortezze con 60 pezzi imaginandosi in pochi giorni ridurle tutte in poluere. / Questa Isola di S. Michele è posta dalla lingua de Italia nella quale era superiore lArmiraglio Fra Pietro de Monti et Fra Pietro Giustiniani. / A. Castello di S. Angelo. / B. Il Borgo. / C. Posta di Prouenza. / D. Il Saluatore. / E. La Catena. / F. LIsolotto. / G. Lo sprone dellIsola e le Molina. / H. Santermo gia preso da Turchi. / I. La Fronte dellIsola di S. Michele. / K. Il Galeone che fu pigliato ai Turchi. / L. Ponte che si passava dallBorgo al Isola. / M. Catena di antenne fatta da i nostri. / N. Archibusieri alla scarpa dellfosso. / O. L Arteglieria che conducano da Santermo. / P. Batteria di 3 cãnoni che batteuano il borgo e S Angelo. / Q. Punta di Dragutt doue stauano 4 cãnoni che batteuano Sãtermo / R. S Margherita doue stauano 6 cãnoni et un basilisco che batteuano la fronte di S Michele e Prouenza. / S. Il Curadino doue stauano 13 cãnoni che batteuano S Michele cioe la cortina / T. La Burmula doue stauano 2 cannoni che tirauano a S. Angelo et al Borgo. / V. La Mandra con 3 cãnoni che batteuano S. Michele. / X. Barche cõdotte p[er] terra p[er] dare lassalto al sperone. / Y. Batteria di 3 cãnoni che tirauano al sperondel isola. / Z. lArmata del Turco dtro di Marzamusetto. /
- 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]
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