Malta, 1664, Valletta Harbour, Fontana Nuova, Schellinks, Drawing, Fine Art Print



A mid-seventeenth-century view of Valletta, Malta, created by Willem Schellinks (Schellinx) during his trip south to the Italian Peninsula and Malta in 1664–1665. Schellinks’ piece is known as Fontana Nuova at the Harbor in Valletta (Die Fontana Nuova am Hafen bei Valletta). It is signed: “W: Schellinks ft 1664 op Malta na 't leven”. The fountain in the drawing was erected in 1615 to commemorate the completion of the aqueduct on the island. Five years earlier Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt (frere Alphonse de Vinacour de France), had ordered and financed the construction of a much needed aqueduct from Dingli and Rabat to Valletta. The fountain itself consisted of a bronze statue of Neptune (Poseidon) on a pedestal with an elaborate basin. A marble cannon-shaped water spout at the base of the fountain supplied water to ships in the small inlet, known at the time as Porto Pidocchio. The imposing statue, attributed to Giambologna, was facing NE toward the entrance of the Grand Harbour. Neptune was holding a trident with one hand and resting the other on a cartouche escutcheon with the arms of Wignacourt — three fleurs-de-lis quartered with the cross of the Order of Saint John. In 1858 the statue was moved to the courtyard of the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, where it can be seen today. For centuries the area depicted in the foreground of Schellinks’ drawing was known as the Old Fish Market. Today, it is a roundabout connecting Lascaris Wharf and Barriera Wharf. In the top left corner of the drawing and partially cropped out of view, is the facade of Ta’ Liesse Church.

• 17th-century view of Valletta Harbour, Malta, 1664, Schellinks, graphite pencil, brown ink, sepia wash
• Title: La Fontana Nuova at the Harbor in Valletta (Die Fontana Nuova am Hafen bei Valletta)
• Fine Art Premium Giclée (Gouttelette) Print (100% cotton 340 gsm watercolor textured fine art paper)
• Made in USA