Castello Aragonese d'Ischia

4 June 2024

Antonio Mattera


"Portraits" by Antonio Mattera


In the tenth anniversary of the death of Antonio Mattera, iconic figure of the Aragonese Castle of Ischia, his son Giovanni Mattera presents an exclusive exhibition of his father’s photographic and pictorial works. The exhibition offers an intimate look at the life and work of Mattera, whose commitment to the preservation and enhancement of the Aragonese Castle of Ischia has left an indelible mark on the history and culture of this place.


Antonio Mattera, third of four children, spent his childhood in the Aragonese Castle, property of his father Nicola Ernesto Mattera, lawyer who bought the castle in 1912. After a period of service in the navy in Taranto, Antonio returns to Ischia in the 50s, working alongside his father in the legal profession and supporting him in the restoration of the castle. At the death of his father, Antonio Mattera dedicates his life to the restoration of the Aragonese Castle, committing himself to restoring splendor to many points of the historical complex, including the Church of St. Peter in Pantaniello, the Terrace of the Olives, the Bourbon Prison and many others. It is thanks to his work that a large part of the Castle today has become a popular destination for tourists and scholars.
Date of Birth: June 4, 1927 Place of Birth: Castello Aragonese, Ischia
Artistic Contributions: Passionate Artist, Antonio Mattera is also an admirer and collector of art, in particular of the works of the painter Foriano Bolivar. Since the 90s, he organizes exhibitions in the Castle, creating a synergy between ancient architecture and contemporary art. Date of Death: 19 November 2013 Inheritance: The management and love for the Aragonese Castle are now in the hands of his son Giovanni Mattera, a continuation of his father’s vision.

 This exhibition celebrates the life and work of Antonio Mattera, exploring his dual role as a restorer and artist. The photographs, developed by Mattera himself in the darkroom, document his life in the Aragonese Castle. The paintings on display, fruit of his passion for painting, represent an extension of his love for art and culture.


Works on show at:

• Photographs documenting his life.

• Historical photographs of the Aragonese Castle, with a focus on restoration and site transformation.

• Paintings by Antonio Mattera, including portraits of people living around him and the Castle.


Creator: Giovanni Mattera

Curator: Simona Di Paolo