Chiesa, Giuseppe (Joseph) (Italian, 1728–1789)

Giuseppe Chiesa was an Italian painter who was born in Livorno in 1720 and died in 1789 in Mahón, he lived most of his life in Minorca. He was the son of Giuseppe Chiesa and Felicia Baratti, a family of painters. Giuseppe Chiesa arrived in Minorca with his father and sister in 1728 from Livorno in Italy. He married Joana-aina Bagur Manent, a native of Port Mahon, the daughter of Rafael I Margalida. They had six children before she died in November 1788. Giuseppe Chiesa founded a drawing and painting academy in Mahón where his two sons, Josep and Joan were taught, also the artist Pasqual Calbó I Caldés attended classes and became very important in the history of Minorcan art. His life ended on November 20, 1789 due to his poor health. His financial status was not much better, this could be due to Spanish policy against foreigners, since, apart from having Italian roots, one of Chiesa's daughters married Nicolà Alexiano, a captain of the port of Mahón, of the Greek family of the Alexians. It can be said that the recognition that Giuseppe Chiesa deserves is not only for the legacy of his extensive work but also for being the one who opened the horizons of a new cultural and artistic field to Minorca, since, until the arrival of Chiesa at the island, the art of painting was practically unknown by its inhabitants (except for some pictures of religious subject). Portraits by Chiesa of Lady Johntson, Lord George Lennox and Lady Lennox are in the National Army Museum in London.

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