16. The chapel of the Langue of Castille, Leon and Portugal16. The chapel of the Langue of Castille, Leon and Portugal

The Chapel of the Langue of Castile, Leon and Portugal is dedicated to the patron saint of Spain, St James. The main altar painting is the work of Mattia Preti and depicts the ‘Apostle St James’. The restricted palette consisting mainly of earth colours and the exquisite draughtsmanship make it a masterpiece of baroque art. The lunette-paintings depict ‘St James banishing the Moors from Spain’ and the Saint as he kneels at the feet of Our Lady of Pillar, both are works by Mattia Preti. The wall carvings and gilding were commissioned in 1661.

There are two Grand Masters buried in this chapel. Close to the altar is the funerary monument of the Portuguese Grand Master Anton Manoel de Vilhena who reigned from 1722 to 1736. It is the work of the well-known Florentine sculptor Massimiliano Soldani Benzi. The other monument commemorates Grand Master Pinto de Fonseca who reigned from 1742-1773.

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