17th Century Art Pieces Restored by AX Group

AX sponsored restoration work for two antique paintings portraiting of the original owners of the property acquired for hotel Rosselli


‘We wanted to show our appreciation to the history of the building on 167 Merchant street that was known as Casa Rosselli Massa and their owners . We decided on restoring the only two existing portraits of the couple that belonged to the Confraternity of Our Lady of Charity and were hung in the Confraternity Oratory in St Pauls Church .– Angelo Xuereb, AX Group’s Chairman commented.

Pietro Rosselli was a well-known merchant and a goldsmith of good standing.

Together with his wife they were renowned philanthropists and it is said that they have paid for the building and decoration of the Oratory of the Goldsmiths’, that of St. Helen, and for the embellishment of the Confraternity’s Chapel in St. Paul’s Shipwreck Church in Valletta. They also endowed the chapel of San Pietro ad Vinculis in the Jesuits’ Church in Merchants Street giving it damask wall coverings, silver lamps and oil paintings by Mattia Preti, then the court painter to the Grand Masters. The mere fact that they were able to commission Mattia Preti to work for them, only confirms the wealth and standing of the family.

Pietro Rosselli’s was a confident gentleman, proud of his association to the Order of St. John. In fact in the portrait, which has been restored, he is seen wearing the Mezza Croce (Half-cross) badge. This badge was a result of the Order honouring him by making him a Donat, a distinction awarded to few, and rarely to Maltese.

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