#Valletta2018, Sculpture

Portrait Bust of Jean de la Valette

Attributed to Leone Leoni
Gilded bronze and silver

Valette was a pivotal figure in the history of the Order of St John, and in the development of Western Europe.

Following its retreat from Rhodes, the Order arrived in Malta in 1530. In 1565, the island was invaded by the Ottoman Empire. The Order’s troops were hugely outnumbered although through the strategic leadership of Valette, the Order’s Grand Master after whom Valletta, the island’s capital is named, the Ottoman forces were defeated. This defeat began the slow decline of the Ottoman Empire, and was celebrated throughout Europe.

This bust was a diplomatic gift to Valette, most likely from the Hapsburg dynasty, following Valette’s spectacular military success.


The Museum of the Order of St John would like to thank all those who have supported and continue to support its work. In particular, the Museum would like to thank the following for their generosity: