Matteo Perez d'Aleccio

Matteo Perez d'Aleccio (1547-1616) was an Italian painter of devotional, historical and maritime subjects. He was also known as Matteo da Lecce. He studied under Michelangelo, working on the Sistine Chapel, in the Vatican. He was a member of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. He travelled to Naples where he met the artist Pablo Moron, who became his long standing assistant. Perez's most important works can be found in Rome. They include the fresco ‘The Dispute over the Body of Moses’ (circa 1574) in the Sistine Chapel; frescoes in the Villa d'Este in Tivoli and the Villa Mondragone in Frascati. He also worked in Malta (from 1576), Seville (in the 1580s) and Lima (from 1589), where he died.

The Hall of St Michael and St George, also known as the Throne Room, of the Grandmaster's Palace, Valletta is decorated with 13 of his frescoes showing the events of the great siege of Malta by the Turks in 1565. He is credited with having introduced mannerism to Malta with his frescoes. These were painted from 1575 to 1581, at the same time as the oil paintings of the same scene, four of which can be found in the Cube Room of the Queen's House, Greenwich, London.He painted St Christopher for Seville cathedral and portrayed the same saint for the cathedral in Lima, where he also worked on the decoration of other churches and monasteries. His depictions of contemporary costume and armour, military architecture and battle formations are rich in detail and highly decorative.