Portrait of a Knight returns to Malta Caravaggio’s Portrait of a Knight is being brought to Malta through the University of Malta’s academic collaboration with international institutions. The arrangements for the loan of the painting were made with the Galleria Palatina at Palazzo Pitti in Florence. This picture will be brought to Malta in October 2007 to form part of the exhibition “Caravaggio and Paintings of Realism in Malta” organised by the Foundation for St John’s Co-Cathedral.

The painting will be delivered to Malta through the management and direction of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts and support of the Embassy of Italy in Malta. The University of Malta, through Dr Keith Sciberras, is co-ordinating scholarship and research activity for this exhibition. This project sees the involvement of leading international scholars.

Caravaggio arrived in Malta in July 1607, almost exactly 400 years ago. His stay here had its ups and downs but it did provide the artist with enough time and tranquillity to create some of his most remarkable paintings. Two of the best known are found at St John’s Co-Cathedral – Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, and St Jerome. Another painting - the Portrait of a Knight - is found at Palazzo Pitti, Florence.

The recently set up Caravaggio Studies Programme within the University of Malta’s Department of History of Art reflects the potential of Caravaggio Studies. As the Rector stated in his address: the University of Malta has done much to generate research and scholarship on the subject and this programme aims to become a centre of excellence for the scholarly study of the artist and the art-historical context of Caravaggism in general.