The international exhibition “Mattia Preti – Faith and Humanity” will be inaugurated in Taverna, its first venue, this coming 24th February on the 400th anniversary from the birth of the Cavalier Calabrese Mattia Preti.
In anticipation of some of the research questions and new ideas which the exhibition “Mattia Preti – Faith and Humanity” shall present for discussion, the Museo Civico di Taverna and Heritage Malta’s National Museum of Fine Arts have just jointly published ‘Mattia Preti – Beyond the Self Portrait’, a 96 page publication in full colour featuring essays by the exhibition curators and an introductory resume written by the acclaimed Italian scholar Giorgio Leone from the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale of the City of Rome.
The publication presents a new method for the study of Mattia Preti and his art. The authors focus on Mattia Preti’s membership in the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta, the reasons which made him seek to become a knight of the Order, the meaning of certain choices he made within the Order, as a knight-painter first of all, and in this capacity as a painter of holy images. The book goes beyond Mattia Preti’s two known self-portraits, as the title of the book implies, to discuss the idealising self-portraits which the artist also paints. Rather than writings in art-history, this contribution presents critical texts, which just like texts that accompany catalogues of contemporary artists, tend to uncover their personality and the way they interact with the culture they live in.
The publication has been produced by Midsea Books and includes an English and Italian version.