Situated within the gardens surrounding the Verdala Palace, is the Chapel dedicated to St Anthony the Abbot. Its erection was initiated by the Spanish grand master, Rafael Cotoner past 1660 and was completed by his brother Grand Master Nicolas Cotoner in 1664.
This architectural treasure is embellished with some very fine art works by the Baroque painter and decorator, Mattia Preti (1613-1699), who lived in Malta from 1660 until his death. He was also a Knight of the Order of St John.
Works by Preti within the Chapel include the altarpiece representing the Madonna and Child; the nearby paintings of St Raphael the Archangel (patron saint of Grand Master Rafael Cotoner) and of St Nicholas of Bari (patron saint of Nicolas Cotoner); as well as the portraits on the adjacent walls, representing St John the Baptist and St Anthony the Abbot.
Author: Amy Sciberras