Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Proceedings of History Week 1983. [Malta : The [Malta] Historical Society, 1984(125-161)]

[p.125] Matteo Perez d’Aleccio’s engravings of the Siege of Malta 1565[*]

Albert Ganado

            The Great Siege of Malta of 1565 was of vital importance for the survival of Christian Europe.

            Since the fall of Constantinople in 1453 the Turks had trebled the area of their Empire. Under Solyman the Magnificent, Belgrade was captured in 1521 and Hungary was overrun a few years later. In 1529, the Turkish forces were halted at the gates of Vienna, but, by that time, Islam was in control of the Mediterranean coast through Bosnia, Serbia and Greece, northwards through the Balkans halfway to the Baltic Sea, through Asia Minor and the Holy Land, Egypt and along the North African coast to Tunis and Algiers.

            Malta was the obstacle to the closing of the pincer from the south and to the freedom of movement of the Turkish fleet in Mediterranean waters. In 1564, when he was 70 years old, Solyman decided to invade the island.

            The state of mind of the Knights of St. John was not then of the highest order. It is true that, since they settled in Malta in 1530, they had been gradually regaining mastery over the Central Mediterranean. But their successful exploits at sea could not erase the bitter memory, still vivid, of their defeat at Rhodes in 1522. Although they had fought like lions in their endeavours to overcome the onslaughts of the Turkish hordes, they were humbled into surrendering an extremely strong fortress which had been their home for over two hundred years.

            Besides, the Knights looked upon Malta merely as a temporary home, and, when the Turkish armada appeared on the horizon, they were still licking the wounds they had suffered through the loss of Tripoli and the Dragut raid on Gozo in 1551.

            For the Knights, therefore, the victory of September 1565 came as the apotheosis of their glory as a military Order. Undoubtedly, the Maltese and the relief forces sent over from Sicily had played a decisive part. But the Knights were still the main protagonists, and they were determined that their resounding victory be visually commemorated in a proper and fitting manner, as an eternal testimony to the triumph of the white cross over the crescent. The artist entrusted with the task was Matteo Perez de Aleccio.

[p.126] The artist

            It was said until recently that Matteo was born in Rome in 1547 to Antonio Perez de Alesio and a Madama Lucente. He was thought by some to have been a native of Lecce, on the assumption that d’Aleccio was a corruption of da Lecce. However, a modern art historian, Alfredo Petrucci,[1] has written, quite convincingly, that Perez was his father’s surname, betraying the Spanish origin of his family, whilst dAleccio was an indication of his birthplace, namely, Alezio, a small Italian town in the hinterland of the Gallipoli district (region of Puglia), known in remote times as Aletium. Its parish church is dedicated to Santa Maria dellAllezza. As the town of Alezio is practically unknown whilst Lecce, which happens to be in the same region, appears on most maps of Italy, it is understandable that some writers have identified Aletium with Lecce instead of Alezio.1a

            Matteo was heavily built and he loved company as well as good food. Wherever he went, he rarely missed to take part, on feast days, in a wrestling match or a palio race, always showing great determination to carry off the spoils of victory.

            In the early days of his artistic career, he seems to have absorbed the strong influence of Venetian painters. He associated, as a young man, with Palma il Giovane (1544-1628), a Venetian painter of the School of Tintoretto, who left us the only known portrait of Matteo, dated Rome 1568.1b It appears that he arrived at Rome during the reign of Pius V (1566-1572) and became a disciple of the school of Michelangelo.[2] One of his his most intimate [p.127] friends was the architect Ottavio Mascherino. He earned the protection of Charles d’Angennes de Rambouillet (Cardinal on 17 May 1570) and he was probably commissioned to work for Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585). In 1573 he became a member of the Accademia di San Luca.[3]

            Three years later, after destroying with his own hand, for reasons unknown, an Ecce Homo he had painted in the Oratorio del Gonfalone he fled from Rome to Naples and later to Malta3a where he became the ‘official’ painter of the Order. During the next five years he painted several canvases for the Co-Cathedral of St. John’s and other churches,[4] but his magnum opus was, without doubt, the siege of Malta as represented in the frescoes decorating the frieze of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio at the Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta. His work went down well with his patrons for, when he left Malta in 1581, he proudly carried with him a certificate from the Grand Master, Jean Levesque de la Cassière, which praised the beauty and perfection of his design and certified him eccellente nella sua professione.[5] It was dated 28 June [p.128] 1581.[6]

The etchings

In 1582,[7] Matteo published in Rome a collection of etchings reproducing his paintings of the siege. In all, there are fifteen plates in the book, entitled: I VERI RITRATTI / della guerra, et dellassedio, et assalti dati al=/la Isola di Malta / Dallarmata Turchesca l’anno .1565. nel Po.tificato della / Santa memoria di PIO IIII DEMEDICI et sotto il felice gouerno / del uittoriosa Capitano, et gran Maestro di Malta / FRA GIOVANNI PARISOTTO DI VALLETTA / Fatti già in diuersi quadri di Pittura dal Mag.co / M, Matteo Perez dAleccio[8] [p.129] nella gra. sala del Pa=/lazzo dellIll.mo Gran Maestro in Malta, e ridotti con / accurat.ma diligenza dal medesimo in questa forma / Oue distintamente si osseruano tutti i successi delle batterie, / et assalti dati per Mare, et per Terra, et dei soccorsi, et uit=/torie ottenute. Con gli nomi si delle fortezze, come de/ principali Caualieri, et altri ualorosi Soldati che uinteruen/nera. The title is in a large oval at the centre of a sumptuous architectonic frame with allegorical figures. It is flanked on the left by the dedication to Cardinal Ferdinando de Medici, and by a long description of the siege on the right.[9]

            Alfredo Petrucci commented as follows on this frontispiece: Il frontespizio, riccamente figurato, è un modello irreprensibile dimpaginazione, di armonia, di eleganza, in cui sfociano contemperandosi le più disparate esperienze architet toniche e grafiche del secolo.[10] The frontispiece is followed by a map of Malta illustrating how the island presented itself to the Turkish attackers when they started disembarking on the 18th May. The next eleven plates are ‘picture-maps’ showing the salient incidents of the siege, whilst the new city of Valletta, founded in 1566, is depicted in detail on plate number 14. The last engraving in the book shows a plan of Notabile (the old city) at left and a plan of the Gozo citadel at right.[11]

            Unlike many other 16th century painters, d’Aleccio practised and cultivated the art of copper-engraving. There is evidence to show that when he left Europe for good he took with him a complete collection of Dürer’s prints. A number of engravings signed by d’Aleccio are extant, and others were executed by Pierre Perret after d’Aleccio's drawings.[12]

            It is considered that d’Aleccio’s fame per linvenzione, prestezza delloperare et intelligenza delle figure rests mainly on his engravings, foremost among which the series of the Trionfo di Cristo and the series Assedio di Malta which is even more original and homogenous. Although the captions in the style of cartoons detract from the beauty of the engravings of the siege, as an ensemble they constitute “uno dei monumenti più caratteristici dellincisione italiana della seconda metà del Cinquecento, ed è un peccato che non sieno conosciute quanto meriterebbero.” The moto irresistibile evident in his plates bears testimony to what has been written that at some time in his career d’Aleccio was influenced by Venetian art, and, in particular, by Tintoretto’s paintings in the Ducal Palace.[13]

            [p.130] Apart from being the designer and the engraver of the plates, d’Aleccio was also the publisher of the book, as may be gathered from the imprint: IN ROMA. APPRESSO MATTEO PEREZ DALLECIO. Whether he had his own printing press is not known.[14] However, the copyright of his engravings was protected for ten years: Cum Priuilegio / GREG. XIII. PONT. MAX. / Ad Decennium / MDLXXXII.

            D’Aleccio dedicated the book to his patron Cardinal Medici describing him “...uero PROTETTORE dogni sorte di uertù, et particolarmente di quella del DISEGNO...”[15] He also recalled that, during the siege, together with Philip of Spain, it was the House of Medici that gave the most valid help to the island; both Pius IV and his father Cosimo de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, d’Aleccio emphasised, had expended large sums of money to free Malta from the Turkish assault, riguardando a quanto danno sarebbe stata sottomessa la Christianità, quando tal luogo fosse stato espugnato dal Turco.[16]

            When he decided to undertake the heavy work involved in the production of the engravings, D’Aleccio explained, it was not because he intended to spread [p.131] the fame of the Order or to add lustre to the Medicis — of that there was no need — but per parermi questa una conveniente occasione di mostrar loro lanimo grato, et in particolare à quellIsola, et à quei signori Gran Croci, et Cavalieri che dellesser io stato sempre grandemente favorito da essi, mentre in lor servitio mi sono adoprato; Io ne tengo, et terrò fresca et perpetua memoria.[17]

            The siege of Malta has been described as the greatest siege in modern history. It was certainly the most famous in the annals of Christendom. To quote Voltaire: Rien nest plus connu que le siège de Malte. This explains why, during the successive decades, enterprising editorial houses in Italy were still issuing original ‘picture-maps’ published in the year of the siege. A map of 1565 by Pietro Paolo Palombi was reprinted by Gaspar Albertus; a plan by Nicolò Nelli was again published in the 1570s by Claudio Duchetti; maps and plans by Antonio Lafreri were re-issued by Pietro de Nobili in the 1580s, by Giovanni Orlandi in 1602 and again later by Henricus van Schoel.

Lucini’s engravings

It is no wonder, therefore, that, in 1631, sixty-six years after the siege, d’Aleccio’s ‘picture-maps’ found one of the most elegant Italian engravers of the seventeenth century who decided to copy and reproduce them. It appears that then d’Aleccio had been dead for some fifteen years. He had left Italy for Spain in about 1584[18] and four years later he abandoned Europe and settled in Perù, where he immediately became the official painter of the Viceroy.[19] He was then about 41 years old. It has been recorded that d’Aleccio was still active 40 years later.[20] However, it seems that the year 1628 was associated with him due to a printing error. Recently, a document has come to light which proves that in 1616 d’Aleccio had already passed away.[21]

            His copper-plates of the siege must have been by then either destroyed, lost or inaccessible, for Anton Francesco Lucini re-engraved the whole lot, adding another plate with a complete series of portraits of the Grand Masters of the Order of St. John from Fra Gerardus (c.1099-1118) to Antonius de Paula (1623-1636).

            [p.132] Like d’Aleccio, Lucini did not dedicate the book to the reigning Grand Master. It was dedicated to Cardinal Antonio Barberini Priore della Magion di Bologna e Nipote di N.S. Urbano VIII, who would undoubtedly be glad, Lucini wrote, to see his BEES[22] hovering above the white armorials of Malta, in the same way as they were resting in glory “on the sails of the Sacred Ship of Peter.”

            The first edition of Lucini’s engravings was published in Rome by Nicolò Allegri. Although he copied faithfully the beautiful frontispiece of d’Aleccio, Lucini changed the title which became: DISEGNI / DELLA GUERRA, / ASSEDIO ET ASSALTI / DATI DALL’ARMATA TVRCHESCA / ALL’ISOLA DI MALTA / L’ANNO MDLXV. / SOTTO IL GOVERNO DI FR. GIO. PARISOTTO / DI VALLETTA GRAN MAESTRO / Dipinti gia nella gra. Sala del Palaz.o di Malta / da Matteo, Perez d’Aleccio. / Et hora Intagliati con accuratiss.ma di=/lige.za da Anton Franco Lucini Fiorent.o.

            Lucini’s album must have been very much in demand, as it was soon followed by two other editions. Of these two editions, I have not yet established with absolute certainty which came first; but the indications are that the “Negroponte” edition preceded that of “De Rossi.”

            The frontispiece of the first edition suffered some changes in the Negroponte edition:

1.         Roma was erased and substituted by Bologna;
2.         The imprint Appresso Nicolo Allegri was substituted by Augustinus Parisinus E.t.;
3.         An additional imprint was inserted: Io: Bap.ta Negro Pontes Forma.

These alterations show that ownership of the plates passed from Lucini to GioBatta Negroponte, who published them in Bologna from the printing press of Parisinus. Forma (or formis) indicates the owner of the plates, usually a merchant dealing in prints; E.t probably stands for excudit which indicates the printer.[23]

            Although the year 1631 (of the Rome edition) remained unaltered, this Bologna edition could not have been published before 1636. Indeed, the portrait of Ioannes Paulus Lascaris Castellar was added to the plate representing the Grand Masters, and Lascaris succeeded De Paula in 1636.

            In the second Bologna edition, the name of Parisinus is preserved, but the imprint of Negroponte is substituted by that of De Rossi as follows: nella Stamperia di / Gio. Giacomo de Rossi / in Roma alla Pace. It appears, therefore, that this edition was also printed by Parisinus in Bologna, but this happened when De Rossi had acquired the plates from Negroponte. Giovanni Giacomo [p.133] De Rossi was very active in the second half of the 17th Century as a printer and publisher, and the plates of De Nobili and Orlandi, among others, had passed to him.[24]

            In this edition, no alteration was made to the plate portraying the Grand Masters. No alteration would have been needed if this edition came out, like the previous one, during the reign of Lascaris. This is highly probable, as Lascaris reigned for nineteen years.

            Lucini’s date of death is not known, but he was still active in 1661 when he saw to the publication of the second edition of the maritime atlas Arcano del Mare by Sir Robert Dudley[25] for whom Lucini had engraved the plates.

            A number of copies are extant of both d’Aleccio’s and Lucini’s albums of the siege. The former is the more difficult to come by.

            “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.” This may well be said of d’Aleccio’s illustrated war reports, four hundred years after their creation.

[p.134] APPENDIX I

Dedication in the frontispiece

PLATE I

ALL’ILLVTRISSIMO ET REVERENDISSIMO / SIGNORE / IL SIGNOR FERDINANDO CARDINAL DE’ MEDICI

Certa cosa è Ill.mo et R.mo Sig.r che nella guerra successa nell’Isola di MALTA l’Anno .1565. fra Turchi, et Christiani, che dopo l’aiuto, et soccorso che le dette il Catholico et inuittissimo RE FILIPPO, il maggiore, et il principale fu quello che hebbe dalla casa de’ MEDICI, non hauendo guardato la Santità di PIO IIII. insieme con il Seren.mo Signore suo padre COSMO DE’ MEDICI GRANDVCA DI TOSCANA à nissuna sorte di spesa (anchorche grande) per liberare la religione di S. GIOVANI da quel terribile, et sanguinoso assedio; riguardando à quanto danno sarebbe stata sottomessa la Christianità, quando tal luogo fosse stato espugnato dal Turco. Per tali cagioni adunque, et per la particolare affettione che io sempre ho portato à .V.S.Ill.ma come à uero PROTETTORE d’ogni sorte di uertù, et particolarmente di quella del DISEGNO, Ho giudicato che à nessuno meglio, et piu propriamente poteuo indrizzare questa mia opera, che a V.a S.ria Ill.ma; sapendo bene che comparendo al mondo con il Sigillo in fronte del suo celebratissimo nome, ella sarà uolentieri da ogniuno ricevuta, et hauuta cara. Supplico .V.S.III.ma et Reuer.ma ad accettarla con benigno animo, secondo che dal sincerissimo affetto mio, pieno di riuerentia le uien presentata.

Al.a quale Iddio conceda lunghi et felicissimi annj; D.V.S. Ill.ma et R.ma humile et affettionatis.o Seruitore Matteo Perez di Allecio

La fatica che io mi son presa in mandare in luce la presente opera: non è stata perche mi dessi à credere di aggiungere fama con essa alla Religione, et al successo di si nobil guerra, et crescer nome alla chiaris.a casa de’ Medici; essendo elleno per se stesse famosis.e et chiaris.e Ma per parermi questa una conveniente occasione di mostrar loro l’unimo mio grato, et in particolare à quell’Isola, et à quei Signori Gran Croci, et Caualieri, che dell’esser io stato sempre grandem.te fauorito da essi, mentre in for seruitio mi sono adoprato; Io ne tengo, et terra fresca et perpetua memoria.

APPENDIX II

Description of size in the frontispiece

PLATE I

Brieue ritratto de i successi & assalti dati dalla Armata del Turco alla Isola di Malta l’anno 1565. [p.135] Molte furono le cagioni che mossero Soliman Ottom.ano xij, Gran Turco à uoler far la impresa di Malta, che per non esser tedioso le taccio; Dicendo solamente, che il suo principale intento era (oltre al uoler uendicarsi di tanti danni hauuti dalle galere di S. Giouanni) pigliato c hauesse quell’Isola, pigliare poi la Sicilia, et lo Regno di Napoli, con animo di uenir in brieue padrone del Mondo. Et fatto il maggior apparato di guerra, che g’amai alcun de’ suoi antecessori per l’adietro hauesse fatto, fece generale di terra Mustafà Bascià, huomo di ualore, et esperienza grandiss.a et del mare fè Generale Piali suo parente; quali si partirono da Costantinopoli alli .4. d’Aprile, et fatto alto alli Castellj se gli affondò una naue carica di assai munitione. Alli ii. poi di Maggio tutta l’armata si trouò in Nauarino, quale era di .158. uascelli da remo, undici Naui, et noue Maoni, e tre Caramusali; et fu fatto giuditio che in tutto, l’essercito ariuaua al numero di ottanta mila persone, con prouisione per tre mesi per il uitto, et per la guerra; et portauano .60. Cannoni di batteria che tirauano Ottanta libre di palla fra li quali erano cinque Basilischi, che ne tirauano .i60. et due Murlacchi di estrema grandezza, portati apposta perche con il grande terremoto che faceuano, hauessero a rompere le cisterne tira.do .300. libbre di palla, con prouisione di poluere, et balle per cento mila tiri; Con gli legni acconci per fare gli gabbioni per l’Arteglieria; et diuersi altri istromenti per cauare, et far bastioni; et altre uarie materie per empir’ i fossi. Il Generale dell’Arteglieria era Topgi. Bascià, et haueua seco cinque Ingegnieri. La Capitana generale era di .31. banco, et eranui cinque huomini per banco et haueua tre fanali. Quella di Mustafà era di .28., et quella del Gran Turco di 27. sebene egli non u’era in persona. Erano saperbamente dorate, et dipinte; Quali alli .18. di Maggio in Venerdi si trouorono in Malta, doue dettero fondo à un luogo chiamato il Mugiaro, et nel uoler mettere in terra furono alle mani co i nostri; et poi la notte del Sabato partitisi, uenero à Marza Syrocco, et messero in terra, doue à un casale detto di S.ta Catarina scaramucciorno con gli nostri, et l’altro giorno si accostorno alle fortezze, doue fu fatto quasi un fatto d’arme: per cio che ne morirono da mille de i loro, con poca perdita de’ nostri; et uenuti poi ad accamparsi alla Marza, u condussero per terra l’arteglieria, et la munitione, et alli .28. del medesimo assediorno Sant Ermo, battendolo con .30. pezzi, doue furono tirate diciotto mila cannonate. Onde dopo cinque assalti datili (nei quali morirono piu di .4000. Turchi de’ megliori, col molti Arais, fra’ quali mori Dragut famosissimo corsaro ferito à caso nella masciella da una scheggia di pietra fracasata da un tiro d’arteglieria che uenne di Castel S. Angelo) finalme.te presero S. Erma la uigilia di S. Giouan.i; hauendoui tenuto l’assedio .29. giorni, doue usoron. gran crudeltà sopra quelli pochi Caualieri che ui trouorno, et hauendo dopo assicurata l’armata nel porto di Marzamuscietto; Alli .29. di Giugno cominciorono ad assediare l’Isola di S. Michele, et il Borgo, mettendo in piu batterie .40. Can.oni; Ma con tutto cio alli cinque di luglio la notte entrarono nel Borgo lor mal grado da .600. de’ [p.136] nostri in soccorso, quali inuero furon la salute dell’Isola; di che auedutosi i Turchi subbito nel medesimo luogo detto il Saluatore, di doue erano entrati, piantarono .20. Can.oni, che in tutto faceano il numero di .60. pezzi, quali batteuano giorno, e notte con tanto terrore, et spauento che pareua uolesse finir il mondo. Alli .15. poi del medesimo essendo digià tutta la cortina, et la fronte di S. Michele a terra; Vennero all’assalto di esso per mare, con certi loro barconi, et per terra alla fronte con impeto si fiero, che pareua uolessero subbissare ogni cosa; Ma come piacque à Dio gli nostri d’ogni banda hebbero uittoria, pigliando sei barche grandi, e quattro piccole con una fregata, et sei bandiere am.azzandone piu di .800. Ma continouando essi tuttauia di battere alla posta di castglia, diedero molti assalti fra’ quali il principale fu quello delli .21. d’Agosto doue si trouò il Cra. Maestro in persona FRA GIOVANNI DI VALLETTA à dar animo alli suoi, quali si portorono si uolorosamente, che al solito ributtoron’ gli nemici. Vedendo dunque il Bascià che no. gli riusciua cosa ch’egli uolesse; Andò per riconoscere la Città uecchia, doue era gouernatore fra Pietro Meschitta Portughese; ma essendogli stati am.azzati iui alqua.ti de’ suoi se ne tornò continouando sempre di battere, et dare assalti. Fù tanto il ualore de’ Nostri che ripara.dosi sempre, et difendendosi gagliardamente, si mantenero per insino alli .7. di Sette.bre. Nel qual tempo Don Garzia con .60. galee gli soccorse mettendo in terra da 8000. soldati. Quali venendo poi alle mani con i Turchi et ammazzata gran quantita di loro; Gli costrinsero finalmente à fuggire, et imbarcarsi, et partire alli .i3. di detto. come distintamente nelli seguenti fogli si puo uedere; hauendoui aggiunto oltre di cio, la Pianta della Città nuoua chiamata VALLETTA, et la pianta della Città uecchia, insieme con quella della Fortezza dell’Isola del Gozo.

Detailed description of the plates

Contents

PLATE II

DISEGNO DELL’ ISOLA DI MALTA ET LA VENVTA DELL’ / ARMATA TVRCHESCA ADI XVIII. DI MAGGIO. M.D.LXVI. (along head, separated by a group of figures, surrounded by clouds, representing the Holy Trinity, the Virgin, St. Catherine, St. John the Baptist and St. Paul). The presence of this group is explained by a legend below the group, in a scroll placed just inside the coastal area of the island lying at the top: Si puo Piissimamente Credere che Malta era per Perdersi se no. / fussero state le jntercessioni de la Gloriosa [p.137] Vergine madre di Christo appresso / alla Santissima Trinita et del Beatissimo Santo Giovan.i Battista, et del Santissi/mo Appostolo Paolo, et della benedetta Santa Caterina quali han.o in protettione et Cus.a questa Isola. In margin along foot: VERISSIMO DISEGNO DEL’ISOLA DI MALTA CON TVTTI LI PORTI FORTEZZE CASALI ET LI MALTESI CHE CON LE LORO ROBBE SI CONDUCANO IN SICURO VEDENDO VENIRE L’ARMATA DEL TURCO LA QUALE NON PIGLIO PORTO A MARZA SIROCCO / PER IL MAR GROSSO MA GIRANDO L’ISOLA VENNE A DAR FONDO, AL MVGIARRO IN VERDI ADI 18 D’MAG.O ET VI STETE IL SABATO SCARAMVCCIANDO CON LI NOSTRI CAVLI ET FER.ONO PRIGIONE VN CAVALIER FRANCESE CHIAMATO LA RIVIERA. NEL ANNO MDLXV. Imprint: IN ROMA. APRESSO. MATTHEO PEREZ DE ALECCIO (bottom left corner in sea area) FOGLIO SECONDO .1582. (bottom right corner in sea area).

            315 x 449 mm. Map of Malta, without graduation or scale. Rose with 16 wind directions, the main ones being marked T, G, +, S, O, L, P, M. Orientation: south west (Libeccio) at top.

            The following legends are scattered around the map to pinpoint the opening gambits of the siege:

         1.         Cinque galere dellla religione alla bocca del porto.

2.         Galera mandata per riconoscere/Il Porto di marza Sirocco et per che era/gran Maretta cô un tiro ne fa segno.

3.         L’armata Turchesca che gira l isola no. / li concedendo il tempo pigliar porto à mar/za Scirocco.

4.         Porto del mugiaro doue in prima messe in terra l’ar=/mata Turchesca, et uengono alle mani con li nostri/Cavalli, et fu fatto Sciavo un Caugliero, c.to la riuiera.

         5.         La Citta Vecchia che/fa segnale co. il Fumo.

            Two other legends show respectively the site of St. Paul’s grotto at Rabat and the place where Valletta was built after the siege:

1.         Chiesia de San Paulo soto alla quale/è la Grotta doue si caua la pietra che è/ contro Veleno.

         2.         In questo/loco hoggi/e la noua/Citta.

            The map is very rich in place-names which are given hereunder (Appendix III), in a comparative table with the map painted by d’Aleccio at the Palace, Valletta, and the map by Antonio Lafreri published in Rome in 1551. The latter has been chosen for purposes of comparison because it is the most detailed and most accurate map of Malta before d’Aleccio’s. The author has included in the table the place-names as shown on the map published by the War Office of the United Kingdom in 1954 (Ref. GSGS 3859, Sheet 2, Edition 4), with the addition of a few notes where appropriate.

[p.138] PLATE III

L ’ARMATA TVRCHESCA CHE MESSE IN TERRA A MARZA SIROCCO ADI .XX. DI MAGGIO. (along head). LI MALTESI NON CREDEVANO CHE L’ARMATA SI FERMASSE, ET PERTANTO NON FERNO QVELLA DELIGENZA CHE BISOGNAVA IN RACOGLIERE IL GRANO ET CO.DVRRE IN SALVO IL BESTIAME CHE ERA DI GRANDISSIMO AIVTO ALLI TVRCHI SI PO DIRE (along foot). IN ROMA. APPRESSO. MATTEO PEREZ DE ALLECCIO.

FOGLIO TERZO . 1582. (along foot inside picture area, between right corner and centre).

            317 x 454 mm. Wind rose as on first map. Orientation: north-east at top. A long legend in large oval cartouche occupies the centre of the picture. Together with other legends spread here and there, it describes the initial stages of the siege.

            The map extends from Monte S. Ermo to Marsaxlokk and the following place-names are given in situ:

Borgo,                                                            Porto di Marza Sirocco

Il Coradino,                                                    San Niccolo

L’isola di Sa. Michele                                      San Tomaso

MARZA SCHALA                                         Sant’Angelo

Monte della Calcara                                        Serra, La

Monte de Santo Ermo                                     La Zabban, C.

Ponta delle Forche

PLATE IV

L ’ASSEDIO E BATTERIA DI S. ERMO ADI .XXVII. DI MAGGIO (along head). IN QVESTA FORMA STAVA LA BATTERIA DINTORNO A S. ERMO CHE L’BASSA MVSTAFA VOLSE CHE FVSSE LA PRIMA IN PRESA PER GVADAGNA/=RE IL PORTO DI MARZA MVSCETTO A CIO L’ARMATA AVESSE LOCO SICVRO. (.1582.) IN ROMA. APPRESSO, MATTHEO PEREZ DE ALLEZIO. FOGLIO QARTO (along foot).

            315 x 453 mm. Wind Rose as on first map. Orientation: north-north-east at top. A legend in two lines in scroll at top left corner explains the movement of eighty Turkish ships to St. George’s Bay on the 30th May. Place-names are indicated by a key in a cartouche on the right towards centre; explanation of military action in progress is also given:

A. Castel S. Angelo

B. Il Borgo

C. La Burmula

D. L isola di S. Michel

E. Sanct’Ermo

F. Dui Batterie una di Can .14. 1 altra di .10.

[p.139]

G. Luoco doue s’accamporono mentre battevano .S. E.mo

H. L artegliaria che conducano per S. E.mo

I. Padiglione del Bassà Mustafà

K. Turchi che marciano verso S. Ermo

L. Cala di .S.G. donde il Bassa fece smo.ta/re di molte Munitionj.

M. Li doi Bassà di mare et di terra con l ochiali C.ro

N. Turchi che conducano li legni per far lj Gabbionj all’arteglieria

O. Scaramucce oue li nostrj piu volte hebbero Vittoria

P. Scaramucce doue furono morti alcuni Turchi

            The map shows what is happening around the harbour area. These placenames are given in situ:

G.no de Cianterena                                                     Renella, La

L’isolotto                                                                    Saluatore, Il

Ponta de le Forche                                                      S. Giouan

Ponta di Dragut con .4. Can.onj                                  Santa Margherita

PLATE V

LA PRESA DI SANT ’HERMO ADI XXIII DE GIVGNO NEL .M.D.LXV. (along head). IN QVESTA FORTEZZA GLI TVRCHI VI TROVORNO 27 PEZZI DI BRONZO CHE SVBITO INCOMINCIORNO CON VNO A TIRARE A S. ANGELO ET ENTRATO CHE VI FV DENTRO IL BASCIA MARAVIGLIANDOSI DISSE HALLA GIOVE O DIO SE IL / FIGLIOLO CHE E SI PICCOLO CI HA DATO TANTO CHE FARE CHE FARA IL PADRE QVALE E SI GRANDE E CON GRAN FVRIA COMANDO CHE A NESSVNO SI SALVASSE LA VITO. ET SVBITO NE AVISO IL GRAN TVRCO. CON SIROCO CORSARO (along foot). IN ROMA. APPRESSO. MATTHEO PEREZ D’ALLECCIO. FOG.O QVINTO. (along foot of left corner, inside the picture area). MDLXXXII (bottom right corner, inside picture area).

            316 x 450 mm. Legend in panel in centre towards the top describes the fall of St. Elmo. A key in rectangle at bottom left corner reads as follows:

A. S. Angelo sopra al quale si uide il can.o/ne che amazzo Dragut.

B. Monte del Salvatore.

C. Ponta de le forche.

D. il forte di S. Hermo.

E. S. hermo doue li turchi entrano.

F. tutta l’armata turchesca che saluta S. Hermo/entrando in marza musetto.

G. d’reuelino

H. Dragut ferito di .S. Angelo.

I.  batteria di iO cãnoni

K. batteria di i4 cannoni.

L. il Bascia Mustafà general di terra.

M. il general di mare piali Bascià.

N. lo Occhiali calaurese

[p.140]

O. Marza musetto

P. ponte per doue si da l’assalto.

Q. trincea de turchi intorno di S. Hermo.

R. barconi et fregatte armate a la bocca/del porto per impedire il Soccorso/che ueniua a S. Hermo.

S. alchuni che si saluano notando.

T. dui pessi che tirauano à le barche/che ueniuano co. soccorso.

V. il galeone che se pigliò à, turchi il/quale era del Capi.o Aga portiero maggiore del gran Turco, che/fu gran mezzo a fare che uenisse/l’armata, sopra Malta.

            The following explanations are given in situ:

Barche le qual tornano per no. hauer possuto lasser/soccorso in S. Elmo Corpi de Cauaglieri gettati in mare legati insieme senza teste.

PLATE VI

L ’ASSEDIO E BATTERIA DELL’ISOLA DI SAN MICHELE ADI XXVIII. DI GIVGNO (along head). DOPOI LA PRESA DI S. ERMO FVGIRNO MOLTI RENEGATI DALLI QVALI SE INTESE CHE IL BASCIA VOLEVA BATTERE LE FORTEZZE CON LX. PEZZI INMAGINANDOSI IN POCHI / GIORNI RIDVRLE TVTTE IN POLVERE. (along foot). IN ROMA. APPRESSO. MATTHEO PEREZ DE ALLEZIO FOG.O SESTO (along foot in left bottom corner, inside the picture area). MDLXXXII (bottom right corner, inside picture area).

            315 x 453 mm. On the left, towards the centre, there is a key to placenames as hereunder:

A.        Castel S. Angelo,

B.        Il Borgo,

C.       Posta di prouenza,

D.       S.Margarita, doue stauano sei Canoni/et un basalisco che batteuano la fronte di s./Michelie, et Prouenza,

E.        la burmula doue stauano doi C.ni che tirauan/à S. Angelo et al borgo.

F.        la fronte dell’Isola; di S.M.

G.       la Mandra Con .3, Cañoni che batteuano/ S. Michele,

H.       il Coradino doue stanano i3, C.ni che/batteuano .S.M. ciouè la Cortina.

I.         Barche condutte per terra per dar’/l’assalto al Sperone,

K.       batteria di .3. C. che tirano al Spero’ dell’isola

L.        l’armata del turco de.tro de marza musetto

M.      Artegliaria ch. conducano da S. ermo

N.       Batteria di .3. C. ch batteuano il/borgo et S. A.

O.       Ponte dargut/doue stauano 4/can.oni ch batteuano/ .S. Ermo.

P.        S. Ermo già/preso da/turchi.

            Besides, these indications are given in situ:

archabugieri alla scarpa del fosso

Catena

[p.141]

Catena di añtere fatta da nostri

Il galeone che fù pigliato a’ turchi

L isolotto

Ponte che si passaua dal borgo à l isola

Il Saluatore

Il Sperone de l isola et le moline

PLATE VII

IL SOCCORSO PICCOLO AL BORGO DI NOTTE ADI V . DI LVGLIO. (along head). QVESTO PRIMO SOCCORSO DI .600. SOLDATI SMONTO ALLA PIETRA NEGRA ADI 29. DI GIVGNO CONDOTTO CON .4. GALERE DAL S. D. GIO, DI CARDONA ET DOPOI L’AVERSI FERMATO .6. GIORNI ALLA CITTA VECHIA / DI NOTTE SI CONDVSSE AL SALVATORE DOVE ERANO CO DIVERSE BARHE IL CAPITAN ROMAGAS, E FANTONE. CHE SVBITO LO TRASSPORTORNO AL BORGO. COME SI VEDE NEL PRESENTE DISEGNO. (in margin, along foot). IN ROMA. APPRESSO. MATTEO PEREZ DE ALLECIO. FOGLIO. SETTIMO (along foot of picture area, left corner). MDLXXXII (bottom centre).

            315 x 453 mm. A list of names is given in two panels, one at top left, the other at centre right, with these headings: LI CAVAGLIERI DI MALTA CHE VEN.ERO CO. IL / PRIMO SOCCORSO (43 names). VENTVRIERI SPAGNOLI (16 names) VE[N]TURIERI ITALIANI (12 names) TODESCHI (3 names) INGLESI (2 names). The following place-names are shown in situ:

C.L S. ANGELO                                                                   POSTA DI ALVERNIA

CITTA VEC., LA                                                                  POSTA DI CASSTIGLIA, LA

Curadino, Il                                                                            Rabato, Il

INFERMERIA, LA, PER DOVE ENTRA IL SOC.   SALVATORE, IL

M del L isollo                                                                         S. P[aolo]

Other indications in situ:

Il C. Grauina Presso.

Il Sig.r Alfier Mugnator

Il Sig.r Mastro di ca/Robles, et il Sig.r F. Vincenzo Carrafa, priore d’Un/gheria Capi del prese.te Soccorso

PLATE VIII

ASSEDIO E BATTERIA ’ AL BORGO E ALLA POSTA DI CASTIGLIA ADI .VI. DI LVGLIO. (along head). Come s’auiddero gli turchi che era entrato soccorso al Borgo subito andorno molti di essi per la medesima strada che gli nostri erano uenuti et ui incontrorno per primo a dodeci soldati, et il Comendatore Grauina che per essere troppo grauato de armi non puose seguitar’ gli [p.142] altri; il quale e hoggi prior, de lombardia, (in margin, along foot). IN ROMA. APPRESSO. MATTEO PEREZ D’ALLECCIO. F.o OTTAVO (along foot, inside picture area, bottom right corner). 1582 (left bottom corner).

            319 x 452 mm. Key to place-names and military events in three columns in large panel at the top on the right, preceded by five lines of text:

            Subito che l’ Bascià Mustafà generale di terra intese che nel borgo era entrato soccorso, non si sapendo il / numero, fù per morirsi di sdegno, e rabbia, ma confortandosi che presto sarebbe padron del tutto, comandò / con gran furia che nel medesimo luoco per doue era entrato fosse messa la maggior d’ogni altra batte=/ ria quale fù di .16 Cannoni, dui basalischi, et dui murlachi, sbarcati di alcune navi grosse che stauano / puoco lontano dal Saluatore, come è, chiaro nel presente foglio;

A.        Castel’ di S. Angelo,

B.       il borgo, et la posta di Castiglia

C.        moline de l isola,

D.        il monte di S. Hermo

E.         marsa musetto doue staua=/l’armata,

F.         ponta di dragut,

G.        Sant’Hermo pigliato da turchi,

H.       il ponte del saluatore doue fù messa la pñte batteria de 20 pezzi.

I.         Barconi che conducono l’artegliaria al Saluatore,

K.       ponta de le forche

L.        naui grosse da li quale si sbarca= /l’attegliaria,

M.      Il Bascià mustafà G.le di terra=/et Il Bascia piali general’ di mare,

N.       giannizzeri de la guardia d.l gran T.

O.       il monte de la calcara doue stauano/doi cannoni ch. batteuano p. tutto il borgo

P.        beluedere doue era il corpo di guardia del/bascia G.le di terra, e doue staua il suo padigl.ne

Q.       Capitani et offitiali pricipali d.l Campo,

R.       guastatori chiamati ciachali.

PLATE IX

L ’ASSALTO PER MARE E PER TERRA ALL’ISOLA DI .S.M. ADI .XV. DI LVGLIO. (top centre). IN QVESTO ASSALTO AL SPERONE LI NOSTRI MANDORONO A FONDO VI. BARCHE GRANDI .IIII PICCOLE ET PIGLIORNO VNA FREGATA CON ALQVANTI TVRCHI AQVISTANDO VI. BANDIERE (in margin, along foot). IN ROMA. APPRESSO. MATTHEO PEREZ D’ALL.O FOG.o NONO (bottom centre, inside picture area, separated by a large panel with key to place-names and military events).

            317 x 453 mm. The title of the key is INDICE DELLI NOMI E COGNOMI DE LOCHI and it is followed by:

A.        Castel di S. Angelo.

B.        Il Borgo

C.        Il= Gran Mastro intesta ab Ponte

[p.143]

D.        Il Galeone, che le Galere di S. Gioanj pigliorono à Turchi.

E.         la Posta di Aluernia.

F.         la Posta di Prouenza.

G.        Beluedere doue Il Bassà Mustafà haueua il Padiglione.

H.        la Mandra con .3. Cannoni che batteuano .S.M.le

I.          l’Assalto alla fronte di S. Michele.

K.        Porta d.l Borgo che su uà alla Burmula.

L.         Il Giardino del Gran Mastro

M.       le Moline doue il nostri haueuano .7. Pezzi

N.        le Guardie in cima al Ponte acio le genti no. si partissero.

O.        Piatta forma de doue furno tirati alquanti colpi, che mandorno à fondo delle Barche.

P.         la Catena di legno, che si po dire che saluo l’Isola.

Q.        Il Coradino doue staua la Batteria di .13. can.oni, che batteuano la Cortina dell’Isola. R. Barconi che lj Turchi condussero per l’assalto del Sperone da marza mussetto.

S.         Batteria sopra al Monte di S. Ermo di .13. Canoni

T.         Mustafà General di terra si pela la Barba

V.        Piali Bassà General di Mare, et Agi Machsuc Capitano, et altri si strugono di dolore.

            Other indications in situ:

ADORNO

L ochialj Greco che / fu il primo a fugire

Naue de Genouesi

PLATE X

L ’ASSALTO GENERALE ALLA POSTA DI CASTIGLIA ADI .XXI. DI AGOSTO MDLXV. (along head). Subito che il Gran Maestro intese che li Turchi gia entrauano nella piazza di Castiglia, pigliata una Piccha ui s’auio con animo prontissimo di combattere, et arriuato con allegra fronte disse ad alta uoce; Cauglieri miei, questo e il tempo di mostrare la fede, et il ualore uostro: et tu di tanto aguto il suo parlare, ch’ogn’ / uno pigliando grandissimo animo, ribatterno quella gran quantita di Canaglia, quale gia haueuano messo sette Bandiere alla posta deli C. Bon insegna, non senza gran sangue d’ambedua le parti. Et nell istesso tempo li Caualli della Citta Vecchia uennero alla Marza et amazorno quanti Turchi ui trouorono. (in margin, along foot). IN ROMA. APPRESSO. MATTHEO PEREZ D’ALLEZIO. F.o DECIMO. (inside picture area, left bottom corner). n.d.

            319 x 453 mm. Key to place-names in large scroll towards the top left corner as hereunder:

A.        Il Gran Maestro Fra Gio Parisotto/de Valetta.

B.        Il suo Maestro di Casa Fra Luis/Saquinuille.

C.        Canone tirato dal C.n Romagass./che fece grandissimo efetto

D.        Luogho duoue de gli nostri fu ama=/zato il Commendator del’Arterie.

E.         La retirata de doue gli nostri ualo=/rosamente offendeuano i Turchi.

F.         Posta de gli Genouesi

[p.144]

G.        Posta de Aluernia

H.        Santa Margarita con la batteria di sei/Can.onj. et un Basilisco.

I.          Belruedere doue staua il corpo di/Guardia del Bassà co. il suo Padiglione.

K.        In questo luogho lj Turchj entrorono,/et fu il di periculoso a perdersi

L.         Soldato che sopra alla cortina corre/più uolte grida.do Vittoria, Vittoria

M.        Questo Turco ammazzò molti d’i nos/tri tira.do di sotto ad un inbasta

N.         Trincea di Turchi, dalla quale/grandemente offendeuano.

O.        L Occhiali Greco, che fu causa/che la suoi si retirassero al Sperone.

P.         Batteria di Sedici Cannonj,/dui Murlachi et doi Basilschi.

Q.        Teste di Cauaglieri.

R.        Trincee che/sicuramente si poteua caminare.

S.         Il monte della Calcara co. dui i Can=/noni, che faceuano gran danno.

T.         Braccio di mare, che diuide il Bor=/go del no.te del Saluatore.

V.        Bandiere piantate da Turchj sopra la muraglia.

X.        La Posta de Bon’/Insegna.

PLATE XI

DIMOSTRATIONE . D. TVTTA. LA. GVERRA. (in margin, top centre). NEL PRESENTE DISEGNO SI VEDENO CHIARAMENTE TVTTI I LOCHI DELLE TRINCEE’ BATTERIE ASSALTI NVMERO DI PEZZI ET LI PORTI E’ FORTEZZE. (in margin, along foot). IN ROMA. APPRESSO MATTHEO PEREZ D’ALLECIO. FOGLIO VNDECIMO. (inside picture area, bottom centre), n.d.

            312 x 451 mm. Key to place-names and military events in panel at bottom left corner captioned DESCRITTIONE DELLE COSE NOTABILI, with a scale at the bottom of the panel: Scala de Canne numero 400. The key runs as follows:

A.        Castel S. Angelo co. la Catena che va ali Sprone dell’Isola.

B.        Borgo con il ponte per il quale si passaua all’Isola.

C.        Burmola dove stauano doi pezzi grossi che tirauano a S. Anglo

D.        Isola di S. Michele co. la catena di legno accio le barche de tur/chi non s’accostasseno.

E.        S. Margarita doue stauano .6. Canoni et vn basilisco, che/batteuano S.M et la posta di prouenza.

F.         Beluedere doue era accampato il generale Mustafà con il/corpo della sua guardia.

G.        La Mandra con .3. Canoni che batteuano la fro.te di S. Michele

H.        Il Coradino con .13. Cannoni In tre poste dalli quali/era, battuta la cortina del Isola de S. Michele.

I.          Barchoni trasportati da Marza moscet per l’assalto./dell’Isola fatti per acqua.

K.        Due Batterie di .6. Cannoni che batteno l’isola et parte del bor.o

L.         Batteria di .5. pecci che batte S. Angelo.

M.       Due Batterie l una di .14 Cañoni, l’altra di .10: che batt.o S. ermo.

N.        Santermo con il reuelino, et il forte, et trincee, fatte da turchi.

O.        Il monte della Calcara, doue erano .2. canoni che tirauano alla=/posta di Castiglia.

P.         Il monte del saluatore, doue stauano in piu batterie .16. Can=/ni dui basilisci et dui murlachi.

Q.        Cala doue stauano molti uascelli grossi, che sbarcorono l’ar=/tegliaria per il saluatore.

R.        Ponta delle Forche

[p.145]

S.         Ponta di Dragut doue stauano quattro Cannoni che bat=/teuano. Il forte di S. ermo

T.         Marsa muscetto, doue staua l’armata dopo, la presa di S. ermo

V.        L’isolotto, in mezo Al porto, di Marza Mussetto.

X.        Luoco, donde si puo guazzare, per andare all’Isolotto.

Besides, the following indications are given in situ.

Catena di antene fatta da Turchi

Renella, La

Vigna di Paulo miccio

PLATE XII

LA VENVTA DEL GRAN SOCCORSO ADI. VII. DI SETTEMBRE. DEL. MDLXV. (along head, but broken up in three places with a scroll with legend, vessels of the Christian fleet and panel with legend). Don garzia dopo l auer fatto disbarcare da otto Milia Christiani se ne Tornò in Messina doue con G.ma Diligenza ne fece rinbarcare Alle medsime Galere da altri tanti Infra li quali furono molti Signori è Colonelli con resolutione in ogni modo discacciar li Turchi da Malta quali innanzi il suo ritorno con for molto dan.o et vergogna di Notte s’erano Fugitj. Adi Tredici di Settembre che Fu in Giouedi del 1565. (in margin, along foot). IN ROMA. APPRESSO MATTHEO PEREZ DE ALLECIO FOGLIO .DVODECIMO. .1582. (inside picture area, between left bottom corner and centre).

            319 x 451 mm. Wind rose as on first map. Orientation: north east at top. On the right, the centre is taken up by a long legend in a decorated frame, with elliptical sides describing the arrival of the relief force on the 7th September, 1565. This is supplemented by five other legends scattered around. The following place-names are shown in situ:

Alfaruut                                                           Madalena, La

Alucha, C.                                                      Nacuar, C.

Bel Calcara, C.                                               Porto del Mugiaro......, Il

Beluan, C.                                                       P.o delle Saline Vechie

Ben honorate                                                  Sabug, C.

Cala di Marco                                                 Salamun

Cala di San Paolo....                                       Saline Noue, Le

Galis                                                               S[an] Giorgi

G[iardin]o della Marsa                         S. Paolo

Gibir, C.                                                         S[anta] Maria della Melecha

Gregor, C.                                                      S. Maria Talpuales

Lacharas

PLATE XIII

LA FVGA E PARTENZA DELL ’ARMATA TVRCHESCA ADI XIII. .DI SETTEMBRE MDLXV. (along head, separated in the centre by a wide stretch of [p.146] sea with numerous shipping). L’ARMATA DEL TVRCO DOPO L’ESSERE FVGGITA DI MALTA ALLI .XIII. DI SETTEMBRE BADO’ PER INSINO ALLI .IX. DI NOVE.BRE D’ARRIVARE IN COSTANTINOPOLI ET SI TROVO’ CHE MANCAVANO PIV DI .XXX. MILIA ANIME CHE FVRONO CAGIONE / DI LVTTO ET PIANTO GRAN.SSIMO NON SOLO IN CONSTANTINOPOLI MA PER TVTTA TVRCHIA ET IL GRA’ TVRCHO SOLIMANO FV PER MORIRE DI SDEGNO. (in margin along foot). IN ROMA. APPRESSO. MA/TTHEO PEPEZ (sic) D’ALLECIO (bottom centre, inside picture area). FOGLIO DECIMO TERZO. (right bottom corner).

            317 x 448 mm. Wind rose as on the first map. Orientation: east at top. Four legends, two of which are very long, describe the final stages of the siege. One place-nanne is given in situ: La Citta Vecchia.

PLATE XIV

LA NVOVA CITTA E ’ FORTEZZA DI MALTA CHIAMATA VALLETTA. (along head). Questa nuoua Città et Fortezza fù fondata dall’Ill.mo Sig.r Gran Maestro FRA GIOVAN=/NI PARISOTTO DI VALLETTA et da lui chiamata VALLETTA, Quale fu dall’Ill.mo suo succes=/sore FRA PIETRO DE’ MONTI in buon termine lasciata, et poi dall’Ill.mo Gran Maestro passato / FRA GIOVANNI LEVESQVE DE LA CASSIERE poco meno che finita, et ornata di molti edifitij come di un / nobiliss.o tempio dedicato ai Glorioso S. Giouanni Battista, et un Mag.co et gran Palazzo, nella cui maggior sala fece dipin=/pere in molti quadri rappresentati in quest’opera, l’ordine della guerra, de i successi, et assalti dati dall’armata Turchesca all’ / Isola di Malta l’anno 1565, et altri edifitij necessarij, et si tien per certo che dall’Ill.mo Sig.r Gran Maestro FRA HVGO LOVBEX / VERDALLA Scelto per diuina prouidenza fra tanti nobilissimi Sig.ri Gran Capitani per attissimo alla conseruatione, et accrescimento della / celebratissima Religione di S. GIOVANNI IEROLOSOMITANO habbia à ridursi all’ultima sua perfettione, et bellezza, per uedersi / di già che S. S.ria Ill.ma ci fa attendere con quella sollecitudine, et accortezza che à buono, et religioso Principe si conuiene, et che così come / dal glorioso VALLETTA hebbe felice principio, cosi dal Grande VERDALL pari in uirtù sia per hauer feliciss.o fine; et così l’humile suo / seruitore MATTEO PEREZ DI ALLECCI le prega da DIO lunga et felice uita, per questa et simili altre gloriose imprese. (in the upper half of a cartouche at bottom left corner. The lower half contains a key to place-names). IN ROMA. APPRESSO. MATTHEO. PEREZ DE ALLECIO. FOGLIO DECIMO QVARTO. (inside picture area, bottom centre, separated by a vessel).

            315 x 452 mm. Wind rose as on first map. Orientation: south east (Scirocco) at top. Scale at extreme right, in centre: Scala di canne Sesanta. Ornamental cartouche at top left corner inside which are the Order’s Arms, as [p.147] well as those of the four Grand Masters mentioned in above. The map is a bird’s eye view of the new city of Valletta founded in 1566. The key to place-names is captioned: LINDICI DE DE LOCHI NOTABILI and reads as follows:

A.        Chiesā Principale di S. Giouanni.

B.        C.sa Catedrale di S. Paolo

C.        C.sa di Santa Maria de porto saluo

D.        C.sa de la Nunciata del Carmine

E.         C.sa di S.ta Maria della Vitoria

F.         C.sa di S. Maria delli Greci.

G.        C.sa di San Francescho

H.        C.sa di S.to Agustino

I.          Cappella di S.ta M.a d. mezo A.o

K.        Cap.a d. S.ta Caterina d’Ita.a

L.         Oratorio del Rosario

M.       Oratorio di S. Vince.zo

N.        L infermaria Nuoua et la Vechia.

O.        Chiesa di S. Nicola di Greci.

P.         Capella in casa del Vescouo

Q.        Albergio di Prouenza

R.        Albergio de Aluernia

S.         Albergio di Franza

T.         Albergio d’Italia

V.        Albe.o de Arragona et il Priorato

X.        Alib.o di Castiglia et il Priorato

Y.        Albergio de Allemagna

Z.         La Castellania doue si tien Iusticia

AA.     la Casa dellj S.ri Cateliano et altri

BB.      le Moline de la Poluere.

CC.     Case d. S.ri duero e poio et altri.

DD.     Case del dotor fra mo.tana, et al.i

EE.      Case del S.r Ballio d. laqula è altri

FF.      Il Forno d.la Signoria et l’Armaria

GG.     Casa del m. pietro gianberi et Foro

HH.     Casa del Ingegniero et Arch.o

II.        loco oue si conserua il Tresoro

KK.     C.e d.l S.r do. Antonio da Bologna

LL.      Casa del S.r Prior di Napoli.

MM.    Casa del S.r. Auogadro

NN.     C.e d r.i S.ri P.ri d’C.sa Vescovo et la Co.a

OO.     C.e d. S.ri Ghirale grac.craci è Caspe.

PP.      Case de S.r Don Pietro la Rocca.

QQ.     C.a del. Co.ri Genori. et Borgogne.

RR.      C.e.d. S.r Pietromelcio. et S.r P.r S. Gilio

SS.      C.a d. S. Come.dator Sache. uilla.

TT.      Casa del S.or Romagas

VV.     C.a de fra Angelo Pelegrino

XX.     C.a d.l S.r Sa.tobino, et Scag.a

YY.     C.a di fra Simo. Preos.te

>ZZ.      C.a del S.ri Ladosa e lu.no

[p.148] The following place-names are given in situ:

L’ARSENALE                                                           L’infermeria noua

Basilischo/Turchescho                                      MANDRACHIO, IL

BVCCIRIA, LA                                                         Piazza del/mal canto/ne

Casa de mastro Tomaso                                             P. d. ludei

Casa di Mattia Pittore                                                 PORTA. DE MONTE

CASTELLO ET/FORTEZZA DI/S ERMO                PORTA/DE S. GIORGIO

Fontana                                                                      Porta del Mandraccho

FORTE, IL                                                                 PORTO DI MARZA MVSCETTO

Fosse et Magazeni/de Grano

                                                                                  Prigio/ne di Schiaui, La Stale

Names of bastion are also given in situ:

S. ANDREA                                                              S. LAZARO

S. CHRISTOFORO                                                   S. MICHELE

S. GIORGIO                                                              S./PIETRO E PAO/LO,

SANTO GIOVAN.I                                                  SANTA BARBARA

S. IACOBO

Other indications in situ:

Barche che passano al Borgo

BARCHE QVALE PORTANO BRVSCA E’/PIETRE DAL GOZZO

Le Galere che rimburchiano una Gemia Turche.a

PLATE XV

PIANTA DELLA CITA VECHIA / DI MALTA (left of centre, towards the top, inside the city walls). PIANTA DELLA FORTE/ZA DELL’ISOLA DEL GOZO (right of centre, towards the top, inside the city walls). APPRESSO MATTHEO PEREZ DE ALLECCIO FOGLIO QUINTO DECIMO ET ULTIMO. IN ROMA. MDLXXXII. (in margin, along foot). Nella presente CITA ditta LA VECHIA mentre duro l assedio ui fu Gouernatore fra pietro / Mesqita Portogese quale con molta prudenza la difese, et costodi trouandosi co. lui molti / Cauaglieri quali con la Caualleria ferno gra.mo giuamento, et auendosi dapoi considerato che / questa Citta e di gran circuito, et la maggior parte di essa è sottoposta ad ogni offesa si per la ma/la sua forma come anco per rispetto della sua fortezza oue sono certi baluardi fatti all’antica lontani / talmente fra di loro che non possono darsi aiuto l’un l’altro, et per lo mal disegno loro non possono / fiancheggiare assieme, et il suo fosso è in argine di Terra senza forma ueruna, et a difenderla sarebbe bi=/sogno di grandissimo numero di gente, et di grande prouisione, e .munitione. et perche si nel uoler fortificarla / lasciadola [p.149] nella medesima che hora uene, come anco per poterla difendere, la Spesa sarebbe grandiss.a / et fuora di proposito; Pertanto si è deliberato di restringerla, e ridurla in forma d’un forte con farli una fronte sola / con due baluardi, et un fosso reale, et tutto il restante del circuito sia sopra un sasso uiuo, quale di sotto sia scoscieso / et habbia grande pendentia, per lo che uenga detta parte quasi assicurata d’ogni pericolo, et che tutta l’opera uec=/chic che restera fuori del disegno nuouo si debba spianare, accio che con gli medesimi mattoni, et sassi, si possa / fare il nuouo disegno; et ridotta che sarà in questa forma si possa in un bisogno metter dentro da .300. huomini insieme con la Caualleria dell’Isola, / et con questa gente si possa difendere senza hauer à dar disturbo à gli altri luoghi, et giunto che sia l’Inimico in questa Isola la detta Caualleria / gli sia per dare gra.dissimo disturbo, et danno. et tutti i luoghi notabili di detta Citta si notano per alfabeto come al presente sopra si uede. (bottom left corner in an elaborate cartouche flanked by two allegorical figures and surmounted by the coat of arms of FRA HVGO LOVBENX D’VERDALA. The legend is followed by a key to place-names).

            319 x 455 mm. A rose with 32 wind directions is depicted left of centre, within the city walls, the main directions being marked as on the first map. The planimetric map of the old city (Mdina) is oriented with south south-west at the top. A scale is also given: Scala de can.e n.ro .50. Another rose on the right towards the centre, within the walls of the Gozo fortress, has 16 wind directions like that on the first map. The planimetric map of this fortress is oriented with south (Ostro) at the top. The scale is: Scala de Cane n.ro 60.

            The key to place-names in the old city, based on a scheme to shorten its enceinte, reads as follows:

A.        il disegno Vecchio che deue Spia/narsi

B.        l’Argine di Terra, o fosso da spianarsi

C.        il nuouo disegno co. gli suoi fossi.

D.        il fosso piccolo sotto li Baluardi

E.         il Ponte ouero porta della fortezza

F.         la piazza grande nella Contrascarpa da/starui buon n.o di huomoni à caualo.

G.        le due Piazze nella Contrascara/ritonde per tenerui l’rchibugieri

H.        la chiesa parochiale di S. Paolo.

I.          Iu muro uecchio fondato sopra la rocca uiua sicuro da pericolo.

Sources

Between 1536, when the first printed map of Malta was published, and 1576, when d’Aleccio painted his fresco map, quite a number of maps of Malta were produced, mostly in Italy. They fall roughly into three distinct groups: round-shaped, oval-shaped and fish-shaped. The odd map, such as A. Thevet’s siege map of 1565, has an indefinite, distorted shape.

            In the first group, the map by Johannes Quintinus (1536) was followed by:

[p.150]

1.         ISOLA DI MALTA (c. 1551?), possibly by G.A. Vavassore;

2.         G. Gastaldi, ISOLA DE MALTA (c. 1551?);

3.         J. Honterus, MELITA (1561); later used for Munster’s Cosmograhpia;

4.         A series of maps issued during the siege of 1565, of which series the first one was published in Rome with a bilingual title: INSVLAE MELITAE VERA DESCRIPTIO — NVOVO ET VERISIMO RITRATTO DEL ISOLA DI MALTA, and the last ones by the Palombis, probably Pietro Paolo and Ascanio: (a) NVOVO ET VERISSIMO RITRATTO DEL ISOLA DI MALTA, Palumbi Nouarien. curabant Romae, 21 d. Settebre 1565; (b) NOVISSIMO ET VLTIMO RTTRATTO (sic) DEL’ISOLA DI MALTA, A.pa. Fecit Romae. This series includes a French map: l isle de Malte situee..., which could be attributed to Pierre de Bouzey Woeiriot.

            At least six maps belong to the second group. The early ones have the legend Melita insula ab sicilia disiuncta, preceded in some cases by DE MELITA INSVLA; one of the latter has the imprint Apud Camocium[26] and another one may have been published by Ferdinando Bertelli in about 1562. The last one of the series carries a different title: Intiera descrittione de L’isola de Malta assediata di Turchi co. el numero de L essercito d essi (probably 1565). A French [?] may by Woeiriot dated 10 November1565 and entitled L’ISLE DE MALTE, ET LA VICTORIE des Chrestiens contre le Turc roughly follows the same outline.

            The prototype of the third group is Antonio Lafreri’s map of 1551 published in Rome: MELITA Insula, quam hodie MALTAM uocant. It was copied faithfully and published in Venice by Donato Bertelli, in the 1550s: Il uero disegno dell Isola di Malta, as well as by Nicolò Nelli in 1565: IL VERO RITRATTO DE LISOLA DMALTA — MELITA Insula, quam hodie MALTA uocant. A number of maps portraying the siege, apart from Lafreri’s own siege maps, adopted the same shape: LVltimo disegno de lisola di Malta by Domenico Zenoi; ASSEDIO DE LISOLA DI MALTA .i565. by Zenoi, published by Paolo Forlani in 1567 in his book on cities and fortresses; the maps published respectively in Cirni’s (1567), Viperano’s (1567) and Balbi da Corregio’s (1568) accounts of the siege. Ortelius (1570) and Porcacchi (1572) followed more or less the same pattern.

            D’Aleccio's map (Plate II) could be assigned to this third group. Although this map is derived from a direct source, it is not unlikely that d’Aleccio was influenced by Lafreri’s map when he drew the island’s coastline. D’Aleccio’s bays and inlets are more pronounced and the coastline is slightly more elaborate. Besides, the contours are much better rendered in d’Aleccio’s map by the sharp contrast between hilly terrain, plains and valleys. This is due to the fact that d’Aleccio sketched the island from an aerial view-point.

            [p.151] Roberto Almagià had this to say on the geographical details of this map: Mare a punti; orografia con un particolare disegno prospettico che mette bene in luce lalternanza di rilievi, di piani, di valloni profondi. Abitati con rappresentazioni prospettiche assai espressive; edifici isolati, chiese, giardini, fonti ecc. .. Il contorno dellisola è grossolano, ma la rappresentazione dei centri abitati è molto ricca ed anche espressiva; la toponomastica è di notevole interesse.[27]

            Directly or, after 1631, through Lucini’s work, d’Aleccio’s map served as a model or exercised a strong influence on several other maps that came later. It was copied, probably by Philippe Thomassin, for the Statutes of Verdala (1st ed. 1584 c.) and it served as a basis, among others, for the maps of Henry Raignauld (1629), Horatius Marinarus (1645), Jean Boisseau (1645), Jan Jansson (1650), Nicolas Sanson (1656), Joan Blaeu (1663), Pierre Du Val (1667), Oliver Dapper (1668), John Ogilby (1670), Robert Morden (1680), Nikolaus Visscher (c. 1680), Alain Manneson Mallet (1683), Vincenzo Coronelli (1689), Frederick de Wit (c. 1690), Gilles Robert de Vaugondy (1748), Robert Benning (1750). Some of these maps also betray the influence of the map drawn on the spot by the Maltese historiographer Giovanni Francesco Abela and published in 1647 in his book on Malta. Abela’s map also belongs to the third group.

            Of all these maps, the most clearly d’Aleccian are those by Marinarus, Blaeu, Dapper and Ogilby because of the fashion in which the contours are depicted. The Blaeu map includes also the iconographic vignette of d’Aleccio’s map.

            The plan of Valletta (plate XIV) has a well-known, fundamental source. The new city of Malta was founded immediately after the siege by Grand Master La Valette who had engaged for the purpose the services of an Italian engineer, Francesco Laparelli (1521-1570). His plans for the construction of the fortress-city are still extant in Italy, in the archives of the Laparelli family at Cortona. They were published by Paolo Marconi[28] in 1970 and they show that, despite modifications over the years, the Valletta fortifications remained fundamentally as he designed them.[29] But even at the time they were made Laparelli’s plans were given wide publicity in Italy. In 1566, A. Lafreri in Rome and P. Forlani in Venice published the design for the new city of Malta. There are two states of Lafreri’s plan, with three editions of the second [p.152] state,[30] and two states of Forlani’s plan. The second state of Forlani’s plan (later again placed on the market with F. Bertelli’s imprint) shows the deep ditch cut right across the neck of the peninsula from Grand harbour to Marsamxett harbour, as well as the ditch dug around Fort St. Elmo, with one arm protruding to Marsamxett harbour. These ditches are indicated by the words Taglio fatto di nouo and graphically represented by heavy hatching. The same motif is repeated in Forlani’s plan of 1567 VALLETTA NOVA CITTA DI MALTA (later re-published by the Bertellis and Camocio in their books on cities and islands) and in Giulio Ballino’s plan of 1569 VALETTA NOVA CITTA DI MALTA. It is also present in d’Aleccio's engraved plan.

            Whilst the outline of the enceinte demonstrates Laparelli’s design, the buildings and other details shown on d’Aleccio’s plan must have been filled in on site, presumably by d’Aleccio himself. It is possible, however, that some plans existed at the time in the possession of the Order’s resident engineer or of the capomastro which recorded the progress of development in the new city and the projects still to be carried out.[31] Incidentally, d’Aleccio indicated on the plan both the house of the engineer and architect of the Order and the house of mastro Tomaso, who might have been the capomastro.

            Like his map, d’Aleccio’s plan of Valletta was used by several cartographers during the next century-and-a-half. It was copied for the Statutes of Verdala and, soon after, the plan was utilised by Daniel Speckle for his book Architectura von Festungen (1589). It also served as the model from which the following plans were derived: Citè de Valete de Malthe in the Summary of the Privileges of the Order by A. de Naberat which were printed in I. Baudoin’s history of the Order (1st ed. 1629); Valetta, die newe Statt in Malta in a book by J.F. Breithaupt (1632); G. Lauro’s Città Vechia (sic) di Malta (probably 1635); Blaeu’s Valletta Citta et Fortezza nellisola di Malta (1663); A. Aveline’s La nouvelle ville de Malte, nommée Vallette (1665); P. Mortier’s Valletta ou Valette ville forte de lIsle de Malta (1704); G. Bodenehr’s Malta od. Valletta auf der Insul Maltha (c. 1740); M.A. Salmon’s La citta della Valetta nellisola di Malta (1757).

            The plans of the old city of Mdina and of Gozo were the first of these places ever to appear in print. For these plans, d’Aleccio must have made use of drawings existing at the time in the Order’s archives. When Laparelli came to Malta, he visited Mdina in January 1566 and drew up plans for work to be carried out there, but it seems that his recommendations remained a dead letter. He also visited Gozo on 8 September 1567 and might have drawn up [p.153] a plan to modernise the castle. The possibility, therefore, that the plans shown on plate XV represent projects by Laparelli cannot be discounted; however, we may be guided here by Alison Hoppen who has studied deeply the fortifications of Malta: she opined that neither of them appeared to be in Laparelli’s style.[32]>

            For the rest of d’Aleccio’s book, namely, the battle scenes, the material at hand was copious. By the time d’Aleccio came to Malta, numerous detailed accounts of the siege had been published and he certainly had first-hand in formation from several people who had played a part in the events he depicted. Moreover, he surely had before him the ‘picture-maps’ or broadsheets of the siege that had been published in Italy, Germany and France. Suffice it to say, that in Italy alone, in 1565, at least 54 maps of the siege (including variants) came off the presses in the two main centres of production, Rome and Venice.

Watermarks

Four different watermarks are present in a copy of d’Aleccio’s engravings which the author had occasion to examine, namely, pilgrim in circle, hammer and anvil in circle, ladder with three rungs in elongated shield with star above and chevron with two parts in shield within a circle with crown above.

            Only the last two watermarks are present in the copy existing at the National Library in Florence which was described in a book by Fabia Borroni Salvadori on the maps in the Lafreri atlases that belong to the Library. The book also gives a tracing of the watermarks (Borroni Salvadori, plate XXV, nos. 79 and 81). One of the plates in this particular copy has no watermark.

Reproductions

In this century, the frescoes and the modellos as well as the two sets of engravings have been used to illustrate a number of books, mostly on the siege. The twelve frescoes were reproduced in full colour by Lochhead and Barling in The Siege of Malta 1565 (London, 1970), whilst some of them appeared in black and white in the following books:

1.         Balbi di Correggio, F., The Siege of Malta 1565. Translated from Spanish by H.A. Balbi, published by O.F. Gollcher and O. Rostock (Copenhagen, 1961), Ten of the frescoes reproduced, numbers 6 and 8 having been left out.

2.         Scicluna, H., The Church of St. John in Valletta. (Rome, 1955). Seven frescoes reproduced; numbers 2, 6, 7, 8, 12 left out.

3.         Engel, C.E., Le grande siège. Malte. 1565-1965. (Paris, 1965). Six frescoes reproduced; numbers 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 left out.

            The eight modellos were published in: National Maritime Museum, The maritime siege of Malta (London, 1965).

            [p.154] The same book of the National Maritime Museum published also d’Aleccio’s etchings, leaving out only plates XI and XIV. Six of the etchings (plates II IV, VII, IX, X, and XIII) were published by Claire Engel in the book mentioned above, but not all in full-plate.

            Lucini’s engravings were used to illustrate the book by C. Sanminiatelli Zabarella: Lo assedio di Malta (Torino, 1902); only the last two plates, namely, the plan of Valletta and the plans of Mdina and Gozo, were left out. Seven of Lucini’s siege-maps (plates V, VI, VII, IX, XI, XII, XIII) were published in: The siege of Malta 1565 by F. Balbi di Correggio, translated by Ernle Bradford (London, 1965).

            The whole set of Lucini’s engravings was published by D. Calnan and G.E. Testaferrata Abela with the title: The true depiction of the investment and assault on the island of Malta 1565 by Matteo Perez dAleccio. (Malta, 1965). In the frontispiece the authors stated: First Edition Rome 1582; Second Edition Bologna 1631; Third Edition Malta 1965. On the one hand, they seem to have been ignorant of the fact that Lucini’s first edition, namely, that of 1631, was printed in Rome and that there were two subsequent editions, both printed in Bologna after 1635. On the other hand, they should have called their publication a facsimile edition of Lucini and not a third edition of d’Aleccio.

[p.155] APPENDIX III

List of placenames in Matteo Perez d’Aleccio’s map of Malta (Pl. II) in a comparative table with the map painted by d’Aleccio at the Palace, Valletta, and the map by Antonio Lafreri (Rome 1551). For purposes of better comparison modern place names as shown on the 1954 War Office Map (Ref. GSGS 3859, Sheet 2, Ed. 4) are also included with the addition of a few notes where appropriate.

D’Aleccio’s

engraved map

 

VILLAGES

 

Artalschiel, C

Asciach, C.

Atardo, C.

Belcalcara, C.

Beluan, C.

Bisbut, C.

BORGO, Il

 

burmola,

Buuaccora, C.

Citta, la nova

Citta Vecchia, La

Corcop, C.

Crendi, C.

Curmi, C.

Ferut, C.

Gibir, C.

 

Gioauan C.

 

Gregor, C.

ISOLA D

S. M(ichele)

Lamosta, C.

[p.156]

Leu, C.

 

 

Lia, C.

Lucha, C.

Mechabeb, C.

Milieri, C.

 

Nasciaro, C.

Rabbato

Sabbug, C.

Saf, C.

Sancta Chatarina

Santa M de Loreto, C.

Scilia, C.

Siggeo, C.

Zabbr

Zurico, C.

 

OTHER PLACE-NAMES

 

Anteofega

baccara, La

Benhonorate

Cala di Marco

Cala di S. Giorgi

 

Cala di S. Paolo

 

Cammea

Caura

Coradino, Il

 

[p.157]

Fonte

 

Furfura, La

 

Gallis

Giardin del boschetto

Giardin del Vesco(vo)

 

Gran fontana, La

 

Guiderum

Lacharas

 

Marza, La

 

Marza piccola

 

Marza Scala

marza Sirocco

 

Melleca, La

Monte Alib

M(onte) della Chalcara

Monte Pelegrino

 

M(onte) del Saluatore

Monte de S.to Ermo

 

Pianura

Pietra Negra

 

Ponte de Dragut

P(onta) dele Forche

 

[p.158]

P(orto) Marza Musset col’Isolotta

Porto del Mugiaro

 

Porto delle Saline Vecchie

Redum

Salamun

Saline Nuove, La

 

Saline Vecchie

S. Ermo

 

 

Serca, La

Torre di Falca

 

 

 

CHURCHES

 

Madalena, La

Maddalena, La

 

 

Nunciata, La

S(an)Domenico

S. Giorgio

 

S. Giorgio

 

S. Giuani

S. Lonardo

 

[p.159]

S. Nicola

 

S. Nicolo

S. PAOLO

S. Paolo p.o. Herm.

San Paulo,

Chiesa de..

 

S. Tomaso

S(anta) Lucia

S. Margarita

Santa M. de Loreto

 

 

 

 

 

S.M.a de Lulia

 

S. Maria della melleca

 

S. Maria Talpuales

D’Aleccio’s

fresco map

 

 

 

ARTALSCIEL, C.

ASCIAC, C.

ATTARDO, C.

BELCALCAR, C.

BALVAN, C.

BISBVT, C.

BVRRACORA, C.

CITA VECHIA, LA

CORCOP, C.

CRENDI, C.

CVRMI, C.

FARRVT, C

CHIBIR, C.

 

GIOAN, C.

 

GREGOR, C.

 

LAMOSTA

 

LEV, C.

 

 

LIA, C.

ALLVCA, C.

MECCABEBE

MILLERI, C.

 

NASCIAR, C.

RABATO

SABBVG, C.

SAFI, C.

S. CATERINA S.

 

SCILIA, C.

SIGEO, C.

ZABAR, C.

ZVRRICO, C.

 

 

 

 

ANTEOFEGA

BENA ISA

BEN HONORAT

 

CALA. DI. S. PAULO

CHAMMEA

CAVRA

COMINO

 

 

FONTANA

FONTANE, LE DVI

 

FVRFVRA, LA

 

BOSCETTO

 

G. D’VESCOV

 

GIARDINO D’RE, IL

GRA FOTA, LA

GROTTA DASSA, LA

GVADERVM

LACHARAS

 

MARZA G(rande), LA

MARZA PI(ccola), LA

MARZA SCIROCO

 

MONTE ALIBA

 

MONTE PELLEGRINO

 

 

 

PIANVRA

PIETRA NEGRA, LA

 

 

 

 

 

MVGIARRO, IL

 

P. DE LE SALINE V.

SALAMON

SALINE NOVE, LE

 

SALINE VECHIE

S.M.D. CALAS

S. SC

 

 

SERRA, LA

TORRE DE FALCHA

VALLO(NE) D’ZVRRICO

ZONRA

 

 

 

MADALENA, LA

MADALENA, LA

 

 

NVCIATA, LA

S. DOMENICO

S. Giorgio

 

S. GIORGIO

 

S. GIOANE

S. LEONARD

 

 

S. MARTINO

S. NICOLA

 

S. NICOLO

S. PAVLO

S. P. P. REMITO

 

 

S. PIETRO

 

S. TOMASO

S. LVCIA

S. MARGERITA

S.M. LORETO

 

 

 

 

 

 

S.M. DE LALIA

 

S.M. D’LAMELECHA

 

S.M. TAL PVD

 

Lafreri map

of 1551

 

 

 

Tarxien

alhaxac

Atard

Belkakar

Balzan

Besbout

Burgo

 

La Bormola

Bobakra

CITTA, LA

Crendi

Rahalcorme

Raalkibir

 

 

Galgour

 

Musta

 

 

 

Lya

Luca

Mekabebe

Meleri

 

Naxara

Rabbato, lo

Azebuch

Saphi

S. Catharina

 

Xilouca

Sigeo

Azabar

Zuric

 

 

 

 

Bonarrat

Qala san Marku

Cala di San Giorgio

Cala di San Paolo

CVMINO

 

 

fonte

 

Folfola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marza scala

Marza syroccho

 

MELEKA

Vallone Giardini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marza moxet

 

 

Megiarra

 

 

 

Saline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tal-Madalena Ch.

 

Annunciata

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S. MARIA de Ghemona

 

 

 

 

 

War Office map

 

 

 

 

Tarxien

Għxaq

Attard

Birkirkara

Balzan

Birgu,

il-Vittoriosa

Bormla - Cospicua

Bubaqra

Mdina — Notabile

Kirkop

Qrendi

Qormi

Farrug, Hal

 

 

Għargħur

Isla, L’ - Senglea

 

Mosta

 

 

 

Lija

Luqa

Mqabba

 

Naxxar

Rabat

Żebbuġ

Safi

Żejtun

 

Ħaxluq, ta Ch(urch)

Siġġiewi

Żabbar

Żurrieq

 

 

 

 

Għajn Tuffieha

Baħrija

Bingħisa

Bur-Marad

Qala san Marku

St. George's Bay

 

St. Paul's Bay

 

Qammieh

Qawra

Comino-Kemmuna

Kordin-Corradino Heights

 

l-Aħrax tal-Ghajn

Għajn Qajjet and Għajn Klieb

Filfla

 

Għallis

Buskett Gardens

 

(?) Wied ta’ 1-Isqof

 

 

Għar Hasan

 

Wied ir-Rum

L-Aħrax - Marfa Ridge

Marsa

 

Jesuit’s Hill

 

Marsaskal

Marsa Scirocco - Marsaxlokk

Mellieħa

Imtaħleb

Kalkara

 

Ras il Pellegrin

 

 

 

 

Ħaġra s-sewda

 

Dragut Point

Ricasoli Pt.

 

 

 

Marsamusett Harbour and Manoel Island

 

Għajn Tuffieħa Bay

and Ġnejna Bay

Mellieħa Bay

 

Fomm ir-Riħ Bay

Salmunett

Salt Pans at Salina Bay

Il-Għadira

Tal-Ħlas Ch.

Fort St. Elmo

 

 

Munxar

‘Falka Gap’

 

Wied iż-Żurrieq

 

Zonkor

 

 

 

Madalena Ch.

 

 

 

Annunziata Ch.

Dominican Monstery

 

 

S. Giovanni Ch.

San Leonardo Convent

 

S. Martin Ch.

 

S. Nicola Ch.

S. Paul’s Ch.

St. Paul’s Ch.

 

 

 

 

 

S. Lucia Ch.

Loreto Ch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annunziata Ch.

 

 

 

? Vittoria Ch.

 

NOTES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now part of Zejtun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost village,

south of Siggiewi.

Lost village, roughly

north of Għaxaq.

 

 

 

 

 

Lost village, between Qrendi and Zurrieq.

 

 

 

Lost village,

north of Zurrieq.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Area of Ghemieri?

 

Area of Girgenti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the site where Valletta was built in 1566

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fort without name shown on d’Aleccio’s fresco.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South east of Dingli.

East of Għargħur.

 

 

 

 

Now part of Birzebbuga.

Area of Swieqi - St. George’s.

 

 

 

 

 

Area of Mizieb (Mellieha).

South-east of Żejtun.

 

 

 

Part of Rabat.

 

‘San Pietru’ area shown on War Office map.

 

 

This is indicated as a “casal” on d’Aleccio’s etching, whilst it is shown as a church on the fresco. The latter is the correct one.

South west of Siggiewi.

The chapel is indicated by a cross on the War Office map.

 

[p.160] APPENDIX IV

Bibliography and Abbreviations used in the References

Almagià :                                  Almagià, R., Monumenta Cartographica Vaticana (Città del Vaticano, 1948).
Azzopardi (1979):                    Azzopardi, J., “Tinsab l-Irċevuta tal-Kwadru Titulari l-Qadim ta’ S. Katarina” in Programm tal-Festi S. Katarina V.M. Zurrieq 27 taAwissu-2 taSettembru 1979 (Malta 1979).
Azzopardi (1984):                   Azzopardi, J., In-nawfraġju taSan Pawl fl-arti (Malta, 1984).
Bénézit :                                    Benezit, E., Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinatuers et graveurs (Paris, 1976).
Bernales :                                  Bernales Ballesteros, J. Mateo Pérez de Alesio, pintor romano en Sevilla y Lima (Sevilla, 1973).
Bolaffi :                                     Bolaffi, G., Dizionario enciclopedico dei pittori e degli incisori italiani dallXI al XX secolo (1975).
Borroni Salvadori :                   Borroni Salvadori, F., Carte, piante e stampe storiche delle raccolte Lafreriane della Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze (Roma,
1980).
Bryan :                                     Bryans dictionary of painters and engravers (London, 1920).
Buhagiar :                                 Buhagiar, M., St. Catherine of Alexandria: Her Churches, Paintings and Statues in the Maltese Islands (Malta 1979).
Cauch :                                    Cauchi, J.A., St. Johns works of art reconsidered, in The Church of St. John in Valletta 1578-1978 (Valletta, 1978) ed. by J. Azzopardi.
DNB :                                       Dictionary of national biography (London, 1908-1909)
Ganado :                                  Ganado, A., Description of an early Venetian sixteenth century collection of maps at the Casanatense Library in Rome, in Imago Mundi (London), Vol. 34 (1982), pp. 26-47.
Gere :                                       Gere, J.A., A drawing by Matteo Perez da Lecce, in Master Drawings (New York), XI, 1973, pp. 150-154.
Gere and Pouncey :                  Gere, J.A., and Pouncey, P, Italian drawings in the Department of prints and drawings in the British Museum. Artists working in Rome c.1550 to c. 1640. Catalogue (London, 1983) p. 125.
Hoppen :                                   Hoppen, A., The fortification of Malta by the Order of St. John 1530-1798 (Edinburgh, 1979).
Lochhead and Barling :            Lochhead, I.C. and Barling, T.F.R., The Siege of Malta 1565 (London, 1970).
Mosetti Zannini :                      Masetti Zannini, G.L., Stampatori e librai a Roma nella seconda metà del cinquecento (Roma, 1980).
NLM :                                      National Library of Malta Mss.
NMM :                                      National Maritime Museum, The maritime siege of Malta 1565 (London, 1965).
[p.161]
Petrucci :                                  Petrucci, A., Vita ed opere di artisti: Il magnifico Matteo, in Il Messaggero (Roma) 25 Aprile, 1957.
Potter :                                     Potter, J., Fine, decorative and rare old maps. Catalogue. Autumn 1984 (London, 1984) p. 6.
Sammut :                                  Sammut, E., The glory of St. Johns, in The Order of St. John in Malta with an exhibition of paintings by Mattia Preti (Malta, 1970).
Schermerhorn :                        Schermerhorn, E.W., Malta of the Knights (England, 1929).
Scicluna , Church:                   Scicluna, H., The Church of St. John in Valletta (Rome, 1955).
Scicluna , Order:                     Scicluna, H., The Order of St. John of Jerusalem (Malta, 1969).
Soria :                                       Soria, M.S. Pintores italianos en Sudamerica entre 1575 y 1628, in Saggi e memorie di storia dellarte (Firenze, 1974).
Stastny:                                    Stastny, F., Perez de Alesio y la pintura del siglo XVI: separata de ANALES, n. 22, del Instituto de Arte Americano e Investigaciones Esteticas, de la Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo (Buenos Aires, 1969).
Tooley :                                    Tooley, R.V., Dictionary of mapmakers (1979).

Plates

Plate 1 [14]

Giacomo Palma il Giovane Portrait of Matteo Perez d'Aleccio. New York, Pierpont Morgan Library.

Plate 2 [15]

Part of Puglia (Italy) which includes Alesio (marked with an inscribed asterisk) and Lecce. Novara, Istituto Geografico Agostini S. p. A.

Plate 3 [16]

Certificate issued to D'Aleccio by the Grand Master of Malta, 28th June, 1581. Malta, National Library.

Plate 4 [17]

Frontispiece of D'Aleccio's engravings of the siege. Malta, National Library.

Plate 5 [18]

D'Aleccio's map of Malta, 1582 (see Appendix III, pl. II). Malta, National Library.

Plate 6 [19]

D'Aleccio's composite picture showing various stages of the siege. (see App. III, pl. XI). Malta, National Library.

Plate 7 [20]

D'Aleccio's plan of Valletta, 1582. (see Appendix III, pl. XIV). Malta, National Library.

Plate 8 [21]

D'Aleccio's composite plan of the old city of Malta (Mdina) and of the fortress of Gozo, 1582 (See App. III, pl. XV), Malta, National Library.


[*] For the abbreviations used in references see the Bibliography given in Appendix IV. Because of printing difficulties abbreviations in the quoted texts are marked by full stops.

[1] Petrucci

[1a] Gere, p. 150; Gere and Pouncey, p. 125. The confusion of Alezio and Lecce goes back at least to the 18th century when Luigi Lanzi wrote that Matteo’s appellative Lecce was corrupted to Alesio during Matteo’s sojourn in Spain (Lanzi, L., Storia pittorica della Italia. Bassano. 1795-96. T.I, p. 144 and T. II, pp. 406 and 409. Quoted by Bernales, p. 223). Lanzi also thought that Matteo had added Perez to his name consistently used by Matteo himself both in Rome and in Malta (See infra, Ref. 8) proves Lanzi wrong on both counts. It should be borne in mind that Matteo invariably made use of his appellative with the prefix Al (e.g. Allecio, Allecci, Allezio etc.); only third parties seem to have dropped the prefix to make the appellative read Lezio, or Lezio or Lecce

[1b] Gere, p. 150 and Fig. 2. The portrait is here reproduced on Pl. 14

[2] Most writers seem to have taken it for granted that d’Aleccio was a pupil of Michelangelo (Bryan, Vol. I, p. 17; Bénézit, Vol. I, p. 104; Scicluna, Church, p. 153; Sammut, p. 57) and one even wrote that he actually assisted the great master to paint the frescoes for the Sistine Chapel (NMM, p. 3). This is not possible if d’Aleccio effectively went to Rome between 1566 and 1572, as Michelangelo died in 1564. There seems to be no evidence pointing to a date earlier than 1566.
The Bénézit edition of 1976 still states that d’Aleccio was born and died in Rome. This is almost certainly incorrect. All the evidence shows that he died in Perù and that he was not a Roman by birth

[3] Petrucci. Soria, Vol. IV. pp. 126-128, 174. Bernales, pp. 222-224. The following paintings in Rome are attributed to d’Aleccio: a fresco over the door of the Sistine Chapel showing a scene from the life of St. Anthony (originally painted, according to some, by Francesco Salviati); the altarpiece at Santa Caterina della Rota; a fresco of David and two other figures at the Oratory of SS. Pietro e Paolo del Gonfalone; a Madonna and Saint above the main altar at San Eligio degli Orefici

[3a] Bernales, p. 225 and Gere, p. 151; In 1607 another Italian Master, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, also fled from Rome to Naples and ended up in Malta to serve the Order

[4] He painted the Baptism of Christ, the main altar-piece at St. John’s, later replaced by the marble group of the Baptism by Giuseppe Mazzuoli. The painting is now in the sacristy of the church, where another painting (Christ in Limbo) is preserved which has lately been attributed to d’Aleccio (Cauchi, p. 13). In 1580 he painted the Shipwreck of St. Paul for the Church of St. Paul in Valletta (Azzopardi 1984, pp. 14-16). and a St. Catherine for the parish church of the village of Zurrieq (Azzopardi 1979; Buhagiar 1979, pp. 116-117 and pl. 14).
It is surprising, to say the least, that some modern historians have written that d’Aleccio’s frescoes of the siege were painted during the reign of Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt (1601-1422) (Schermerhorn, p. 53; Scicluna, Order, pp. 119, 125)

[5]NLM. Arch. 439, Liber Bullarum 1579-1581, f. 273rv. Petrucci has described him eccellentissimo artista and he praised his buon disegno, fantasia e veloce operare. During his stay in Malta, d’Aleccio lived in a house at the eastern end of St. Christopher Street, in Valletta, overlooking the Grand Harbour: it is indicated on his plan of Valletta (FOGLIO DECIMO QVARTO) as Casa di Mattia Pittore.
The modellos for the frescoes, at one time in the collection of Charles I of England, are now preserved at the Greenwich National Maritime Museum. They are in oil on canvas and are highly detailed “and have spontaneity and vigour of handling eminently suited to large wall decorations.” D’Aleccio’s depictions of the battles “depart from strictly Renaissance illusionism and revert to a more archaic or primitive form which was well suited to the narrative content of the pictures. The partial adoption of an aerial viewpoint and the variable scale of the figures are strongly reminiscent of Turkish miniature paintings found in chronicles of the time, which he may have had an opportunity of seeing. Perez paints most of his scenes as if viewed from the Turkish lines, and only in two of the paintings do the defenders, the Knights of St. John, themselves appear in the foreground as the principal subject matter” (NMM, p. 1)

[6] See plate.....

[7] In that same year, d’Aleccio was elected a member of the Congregazione dei Virtuosi del Pantheon (Soria, p. 127; also Petrucci)

[8]This is the form commonly used in Malta to render the artist’s name. D’Aleccio himself used different versions in the book being described, as may be seen hereunder:
Matteo Perez d’Aleccio (in the title just quoted).
Matteo Perez di Allecio (in the dedication).
Matteo Perez D’Allecio (in the imprint and on pl. 8).
Matteo Perez de Allecio (plates 3, 7).
Matteo Perez di Allecoi (in the legend dedicated to Grand Master Verdala on pl. 14)
Mattheo Perez de Allecio (plates, 2, 12, 15).
Mattheo Perez D’Allecio (plate 5, 13)
Mattheo Perez de Allezio (plates 4, 6)
Mattheo Perez D’Allezio (plate 10)
Petrucci is incorrect when he writes that the rendering of the name on plate 6 is “de Allecio,” unless he was examining a different edition of the book which the author has not seen. So far as is known, however, there is only one edition of the book.
La Cassière’s certificate used the version Mattheo de Aleccio, whilst Bishop Gargallo in 1579 referred to him as Matteo da Lecio.
After his return to Italy from Malta, d’Aleccio published a number of engravings on which his name is similar to that used on the siege engravings. Thus we find:
Matthaeus Perez de Allecio (on a picture of St. John the Baptist — 1582)
Matthaeus P[erez] de Alecci (on the Martyrdom of St. Catherine)
Matthaeus P[erez] F[ecit] (on the Virgin and Child — 1593)
M[atthaeus] P[erez] de Aleccio (on the Conversion of St. Paul — 1583).
A document drawn up in Perù in 1616 after his death refers to him as Mateo Pirea de Alecio. Spanish writers refer to him as Mateo Pérez de Alesio which tallies with the entry of his marriage (3 January 1598) in the parochial records of the Cathedral in Lima; he is registered as the legitime son of Antonio Perez de Alesio and Madama Lucente (Bernales, p. 234)

[9] The dedication and the description of the siege are reproduced in full in Appendices I and II

[10] Petrucci. Transl.—Enriched with figures, the frontispiece is a perfect example of lay-out, harmony and elegance, in which the most varied architectonic and graphic styles of the century find an outlet and become one whole

[11] For a detailed description of the plates, see Appendix III

[12] Stastny, p. 13

[13] Petrucci. He further comments as follows: Un che di eroico e di maestoso, di nobile sopratutto, attravenrsa, in una luce d’Apocalisse, certe scene, come quelle del settimo, del nono. del decimo e del duodecimo foglio, tra masse d’uomini marcianti in direzioni opposte, lance e picche a fascio, cimieri, corazze, pezzi di artiglieria, cavalli trementi, rematori agli scalmi, dall’arrivo del “primo soccorso” a quello decisivo, irruento come un fiume in piena del “Gran Soccorso”: un mondo, cioè, cui lo spirito di Matteo, vago più di correre che di stare, aderisce meglio che a quello prevalentemente ornamentale ed allegorico del frontespizio. Transl.—There is something heroic and majestic, noble most of all, which, in an Apocalyptic light, travels across certain scenes. such as those of plates seven, nine, ten and twelve, between masses of men marching in opposite directions, a disorderly array of pikes and lances, plumed helmets, armour, artillery pieces, trembling horses, oarsmen at the rowlocks, from the arrival of the “first relief” to the decisive arrival of the “Great Relief,” turbulent like a bursting river: a world, in brief, to which the spirit of Matteo, hankering after roaming rather than staying, is more kindred than to what is found in the markedly ornamenfal and allegorical frontispiece.
Another Italian writer has described the artist of the siege engravings spiritoso bizzarro e focoso (Burroni Salvadori, pp. LXXXI, LXXXII)

[14] His name is not mentioned in Masetti Zannini

[15] Transl. — ......true PROTECTOR of all kinds of connoisseurship, and particularly of that of DRAWING......
It has been written that, by publishing the book, d’Aleccio incurred the anger of the then Grand Master, Hugo de Loubenx Verdala, who suppressed it. Possibly, Verdala was displeased that the book was not dedicated to him. However, d’Aleccio paid homage to the “Great Verdall” in the legend accompanying the plan of the new city of Valletta (pl. 14) and, apart from including his coat of arms, together with that of La Valette, Del Monte and De La Cassiere, on the same plate, he reserved a special place for Verdala’s escutcheon in the elaborate cartouche on the next plate

[16] Transl. — keeping in mind what a lot of harm Christianity would have had to suffer, if such place were to have been taken by the Turk

[17]Transl. — because I consider this to be a good opportunity to show them my gratitude, and, especially, to show it to that Island and to those Grand Crosses and Knights who had showered upon me so many favours while I was working in their service; they are still fresh in my memory, and so they will always remain

[18] Stastny, p. 9.; Soria, p. 127

[19] D’Aleccio followed the footsteps of Bernardo Bitti who settled in Lima in 1575. A few decades later, Angelino Medoro also established himself in Perù. These three Italian painters exercised a very strong influence on South American art by introducing the style and ideas of European schools of painting

[20] Soria, p. 128, quoting R. Vargas Ugarte (1947) and G. Lohman Villena (1940)

[21] Stastny, pp. 11-12

[22] A reference to the bees upon the Arms of the Barberini

[23] Excudit is not to be confused with excidit, which has the same meaning as incidit, indicating the engraver. We know that the plates in question were engraved by Lucini; therefore, E.t could only mean excudit

[24] In 17th century Rome, there were two publishing houses by the name of de Rossi, one of which carried on business at Piazza della Pace, the other at Piazza Navona. The former was by far the more important of the two. It was run by Giuseppe Rossi from at least 1613 until his death in 1639; Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi flourished between 1649 and 1691; he was succeeded by Domenico (fl. 1691c-1720c) and then by Lorenzo Filippo (fl. 1720c-1738). In 1738, the whole collection of plates amassed by the family was sold to the government of the Papal States. The business address Alla Pace became Alla Pace allinsegna di Parigi some time after Gian Giacomo took over the business (Ehrle, pp. 24, 68; also Tooley, p. 549).
In 1686, Gian Giacomo de Rossi published a highly decorative map of Malta: ISOLA DI MALTA/GOZZO COMINO E COMINOTTO/cauata dalle piu recenti notitie, e data in luce da Gio. Giacomo de Rossi/dalle sue stampe in Roma alla Pace con Priu.o del S. Pont.e lanno 1686. Fran.s Donia Messanensis Sculp. 403 x 545 mm. The map is found in the atlas Mercurio Geografico overa guida geografica in tutte le parti del mondo conforme le tavole geografiche del Sansone Baudrand e Cantelli. Data in luce con direttione e cura di Gio Giarcoma de Rossi nella sua stamperia in Roma alla Pace allInsegna di Parigi con Priu.’ del S. Pont. (c.1690)

[25] Sir Robert Dudley, styled Duke of Northumberland and Earl of Warwick (1573-1649), naval commander, inventor, engineer and geographer. He left England in 1605 and later settled in Florence. Famed for his ingenuity as a ship-builder and mathematician. In 1646-7 he published in Florence Arcano del Mare, the first sea atlas by an Englishman and the first sea atlas of the whole world. It is divided in six books; the sixth is a collection of geographical maps. Lucini’s maps are outstanding examples of the finest quality of Italian engraving and calligraphy; he spent on them twelve years of his life (DNB, Vol. XVI, pp. 122-124; Bolaffi, Vol. VII, p. 63; Potter, p. 6)

[26]Plate 16 in: Tooley, R.V., Maps and map-makers, (London, 1949)

[27] Almagià, Vol. II, p. 106, Transl. — The sea is rendered by stippling; orography based on a particular bird’s-eye-view design which strongly brings out the difference between hills, plains and deep valleys. The dwellings are shown in an expressive perspective; isolated buildings, churches, gardens etc...... The outline of the island is rough, but the map is rich and expressive in the representation of inhabited centres; the place-names are highly interesting

[28] Marconi, pp. 353-386

[29] Hoppen, pp. 37-38

[30] Ganado, p. 39, no. 89

[31] For instance; L’Arsenale and Il Mandracchio shown on d’Aleccio’s plan remained on the drawing-board for all time. Yet, they are equally shown on the plans of Valletta produced in the 18th century derived from d’Aleccio's engraving

[32] Hoppen, pp. 100, 115, 201 (ftn. 7), 204 (ftn. 5) and plate 10