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The Military Orders: Piety, Pugnacity, Property (2017)

Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage (COSCH) joint working group (2016)

International Symposium on Baroque Military Architecture (2015)

Arte Barocca Seminar in The Malta Independent on Sunday (2015)

Arte Barocca: Tra Fede e Stupore (2015)

The Great Siege as seen through the frescoes of Matteo Perez d'Aleccio (2015)

Una Cena Barocca – a dining experience of the Baroque age (2014)

International Conference on Mattia Preti (2014)

Baroque Architecture in Sicily (2014)

Life, Society and Culture in the Baroque Age (2014)

Defending Valletta's Marsamxett Enceinte (2014)

The Renaissance Society of America: 60th Annual Meeting (2014)

Lecture at the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (2013)

The Military Orders: Culture and Conflict (2013)

The Bastioned Tower (2013) 

Cities and Festivities in the Baroque Age (2013)

The Art of Dying Well in Baroque Malta (2012)

Vauban's Influence Throughout the World (2011)

Neapolitan Baroque Architecture (2010)

La Rinascita del Barocco (2009)

Vauban in Malta (2007)

The Restoration of the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia (2005)

The Baroque Architecture of the Val di Noto, Sicily (2004)

The Baroque Triumph over Death (2003)


The Conservation of Metals (2002)

The Strengthening of Baroque Buildings in Seismic Zones with FRP-Materials (2002)

Baroque Military Architecture (2002)

Laser Technology as Applied to the Cleaning and Analysis of Paintings, Marble, Stone and Other Materials (2002)

Application of Laser Techniques in Art Conservation Structural Diagnosis (2002)

Diagnostics, Materials and Technologies for Restoration (2002)

Traditional Building Materials and Construction Techniques (2001)

Construction Techniques of Baroque Buildings erected in Catania after the Earthquake of 1693 (2001)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Military Orders: Piety, Pugnacity, Property


7 - 10th September 2017

The International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta was represented at the seventh international conference of the London Centre for the Study of the Crusades, the Military Religious Orders and the Latin East.

The conference, titled “The Military Orders: Piety, Pugnacity, Property”, was held between the 7th and the 10th September 2017 and it was hosted by the Museum of the Order of St John, St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, London.

Theresa Vella, a Visiting Lecturer at the International Institute for Baroque Studies, delivered a paper titled “The Art Collections of Hospitaller Knights in Malta.” Daniel Borg and Mevrick Spiteri, both representing the Institute, addressed the topic of “Representing Space: Surveying and Drawing Techniques in the Maltese Cabrei of the Order of St John (XVII – XVIII centuries).” 

Spiteri, a post-graduate student of the Institute delivered an additional paper on “The Economization of Built Property: Urban Houses of the Manoel Foundation in 18th century Valletta” while Matthias Ebejer, a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute, presented his paper titled “‘Santificatevi e Siate Santi’: Hospitaller Saints after the Council of Trent.”

These papers/themes reflect the international and multi-disciplinary approach to research adopted by the International Institute for Baroque Studies. 

 

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Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage (COSCH) joint working group


18 - 19th April 2016

The International Institute for Baroque Studies, University of Malta hosted the 7th COST-Action TD 1201: Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage (COSCH) joint working group meeting on 18 and 19 April 2016. The theme of the workshop is: “Evaluation of questions arising from COSCH case studies and WG tasks.” 

The first session was held at the National Library in Valletta and the second session took place in the Valletta Campus of the University of Malta. A final workshop was hosted at the International Institute for Baroque Studies in the Tal-Qroqq Campus. 

COST-Action TD 1201: Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage (COSCH) was set up with the scope of promoting research, development and application of optical measurement techniques – adapted to the needs of heritage documentation – based on an interdisciplinary cooperation, on a concerted European level and to offer a novel and reliable, independent and global knowledge base facilitating the use of today's and future optical measuring techniques to support the documentation of European heritage.  

This COST Action is led by i3mainz, Hochschule Mainz – University of Applied Sciences, Mainz, Germany.  

Perit Hermann Bonnici from the International Institute for Baroque Studies, University of Malta and participant in this project coordinated the meeting.

The workshop discussed the outcome of six case studies launched at the end of 2014 involving the recording of six cultural heritage objects: - Roman coins; - Germolles’ wall paintings; - Ancient Greek Kantharos; - White Bastion fortress; - Romanian cultural heritage; - Bremer “cog”, using modern optical techniques.  

 

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International Symposium on Baroque Military Architecture


Friday 9 October 2015

Symposium_Poster_ImageThe military architecture of the Baroque age reflected the Baroque mind’s celebration of what constituted a perfect union between an art that believed in the ‘cult of beauty’ and a new emerging science that cherished the ‘mathemisation’ of the world.

On Friday 9th October, the National Library of Malta, in Valletta, hosted an international symposium, entitled ‘The Visual Power of Military Architecture in the Baroque Age’ organized by the International Institute for Baroque Studies of the University of Malta.  This symposium addressed a relatively unexplored aspect of military architecture, namely, its visual power, particularly the manner in which architecture, engineering, technology, urbanism, and art were carefully brought together in the service of defensive works of the Baroque age in an attempt to endow them with aesthetic appeal. For this was a time in the history of architecture when fortifications were not only expected to function effectively in the onerous task of defence, against increasingly powerful armaments, but also to look good in the process. The factors that helped shape this architecture were neither accidental nor incidental, but the product of a great profundity of thought, experimentation and originality of ideas.

The theme for the day was opened with a keynote speech entitled ‘The Aesthetics of the Lines and Angles of the Military Architecture of the Baroque Age’ by Professor Denis De Lucca, the director of the International Institute for Baroque Studies. For this event, the Institute was able to recruit a panel of academics from distinct fields of specialization in the study of military architecture. The foreign participants were Professor Maria Giuffre, from the University of Palermo, who spoke on the various schemes of aggrandizement as experienced in the development of the fortified city of Palermo (Palermo e la Sicilia: dalla necessità della difesa alla vittoria della forma); Professor Fernando Cobos-Guerra from Alfonso X University, Madrid, who discussed the limitations on the semblance of impregnability in Spanish fortifications (Visual Power, Effective Strength and Semblance of Impregnability in the Fortifications of theSymposium_Audience_Image Spanish Crown); Professor Michele Virol from the University of Rouen, who spoke about the aesthetic importance of the role of gateways in the fortifications built by the school of Vauban in France (Les portes des places-fortes. Rendre visible la gloire du souverain dans une architecture défensive cache);  Dr. Emilie d’Orgeix, Associate Professor at the University of Bordeaux-Montaigne, who explored the importance of the glacis and other zones of servitude around fortifications (Exploring the Baroque Glacis as a Symbolic Element of French Fortified Cities in the Early Modern Period), and Dr. Margherita Taveres, from the New University of Lisbon, who explored the visual qualities of barrack-buildings and other edifices within Baroque fortifications in Portugal (Military Buildings and Scenographic Features: Some Barracks in mid-18th Century Portuguese Fortifications).

The afternoon session of this symposium, which was convened by Dr. Stephen C Spiteri of the International Institute for Baroque Studies, was taken up with talks by academics associated with the Institute, beginning with a talk on the Baroque features of Fort Manoel, by Dr. Stephen C. Spiteri, followed by a discussion of the Baroque gateways of Hospitaller fortifications in Malta by Dr. Theresa Vella, examined from an art-historical perspective.  This was in turn followed by a talk on the nature of religious buildings within the Baroque fortifications in Malta by Architect Claude Busuttil (The Sacred Ramparts: The Baroque Expression of the Religious Elements of Hospitaller Fortifications). An interesting final contribution was by Architect Hermann Bonnici who addressed the issues and challenges presented by the restoration and conservation of Baroque fortifications in the Maltese islands. 

The symposium, which was well attended, was supported by Mapfre Middlesea p.l.c., Lombard Bank (Malta) p.l.c., and Malta Libraries.


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Arte Barocca Seminar in The Malta Independent on Sunday


14 June 2015

Church_Triumphant_1An interesting seminar entitled “Arte barocca – tra fede e stupore” was recently held at the Italian Cultural Institute in Valletta focusing attention on the significance and recent restoration of one of the most important artistic achievements of the Baroque age – the Bernini’s statue of the Ecstacy of Saint Teresa of Avila in the Cornaro Chapel of the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome.

This seminar was the result of the initiative of Professor Denis De Lucca, director of the International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta who introduced the seminar by delivering an illustrated talk on the importance of the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria as a commemoration of the landmark Catholic victory of the White Mountain outside Prague, which secured the survival of Catholicism in Bohemia in the wake of a Calvinist uprising. Details about the fascinating  links of two specific items in the original contents of this church – a miraculous icon of the Nativity used to bless the Catholic forces at the above-mentioned battle by the Discalced Carmelite friar  Domenico di Gesu et Maria and an Ottoman banner captured in a Mediterranean naval encounter - with the Hospitaller Order of Malta were spotlighted and a video-clip of the history of this beautiful Baroque church, which was designed by the architects Carlo Maderno and Giovanni Battista Soria under the patronage of Cardinal Scipione Borghese was shown to the audience.

Professor De Lucca’s talk was followed by another talk by Dr Theresa Vella who lectures in history of art in the Diploma and Masters courses run by the International Institute for Baroque Studies. Dr Vella addressed a number of issues concerning Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s splendid theatrical setting that is the Cornaro Chapel. Here sculpted members of the Venetian Cornaro family are shown looking out of theatre-type boxes, engaged in a discussion about the focal point of attraction – Bernini’s Ecstacy of Saint Teresa, here illuminated in its full glory by the penetration of overhead lightChurch_Triumphant_2 from a concealed  light well as was commonly done in Baroque sacred architecture. There are several examples of such Baroque light wells in Malta in the small churches in Valletta, such as St James,  designed by Romano Carapecchia.

The seminar was concluded by talks delivered by Dott. Sante Guido of the University of Trent who has been engaged in a number of restoration projects in Malta and by  Dott. Giuseppe Mantella whose team of experienced restorers was responsible for the restoration of the Cornaro Chapel in Santa Maria della Vittoria.  While Sante Guido talked about Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the context of the building of Baroque Rome, Giuseepe Mantella explained  the rigorous restoration procedures that were followed in this superb operation involving one of the most prestigious art works of the splendid Baroque legacy of seventeenth-century Italy.

The seminar on the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome, perhaps one of the most representative examples of the ‘Church Triumphant’ of the Baroque age, was one of a series of activities organised by the very active outreach programme of the Institute during the academic year 2014-2015, intended to disseminate knowledge about an age in the history of mankind which has left an important imprint on modern society particularly in urbanism, art and architecture.


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Arte Barocca: Tra Fede e Stupore


28 May 2015

cornaroseminar

Professor Denis De Lucca gave an illustrated talk mentioning a hitherto unexplored connection between the building of the splendid Baroque church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in  Rome and the Hospitaller Order of Malta. This in the context of a seminar entitled "Arte barocca tra fede e stupore" organised by the International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta.


The seminar was held at the Italian Cultural Institute in Palace Square, Valletta on Thursday 28th May at 6.00 pm. Other speakers in this seminar included Dr Theresa Vella, Dott. Sante Guido and Dott. Giuseppe Mantella who will address critical issues about the significance, art appreciation and restoration of the recently restored Cornaro  chapel of the same church. Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s design of this magnificent chapel, which was commissioned to him by the Venetian Cornaro family, focuses attention on one of the greatest masterpieces of Italian Baroque art – Bernini’s Ecstacy of Santa Teresa of Avila.



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The Great Siege as seen through the frescoes of Matteo Perez d'Aleccio


16 May 2015

great_siege_seminarFlimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA) has organised a series of events to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the Great Siege of Malta. Activities opened on Saturday 16 May 2015 with a seminar ‘The Great Siege as seen through the frescoes of Matteo Perez d’Aleccio’ where leading experts in the field –will discuss aspects of the Great Siege as seen through the frescoes of Matteo Perez d’Aleccio.

For this occasion FAA has published The Great Siege of Malta: Art and History. It is through d’Aleccio’s 12 frescoes that we can witness some of the most significant episodes which took place during the 1565. siege.

Based on contemporary accounts of the siege, his works reveal a comprehensive visual narrative of the state of the fortifications and other military quarters, the types of armour, weapons and costumes worn and some tactics which were used during the campaign.

The seminar was addressed by Professor Denis De Lucca, director of the International Institute for Baeoque Studies, who gave a talk on "Those amazing Ottoman basilisks" and by two other members of the Institute: Dr Theresa Vella who discussed "Turning history into art. D'Aleccio's fresco paintings in the Magistral Palace" and Dr Stephen Spiteri who talked about "D'Alleccio's fortifications - factual representation or artistic imagination?" 

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Una Cena Barocca – a dining experience of the Baroque age


14 November 2014

UnaCenaBarocca_S

The International Institute for Baroque Studies in conjunction with the Programme for Mediterranean Culinary Culture at the Institute for Tourism, Travel and Culture at the University of Malta, organised a Baroque-style dinner, ‘Una Cena Barocca – a dining experience of the Baroque age.’

This offers guests the opportunity to experience the gastronomic tastes and flavours of the Baroque age. The cuisine of the Baroque age was varied and imaginative, and many authentic menus and recipes of the period still survive. Table settings and the presentation of food all gained in importance at this time, and a wide range of ingredients were used. Paintings of the period enable us to visualise the sumptuous displays of food that were admired.

A selection of Baroque music was performed for the occasion by Camerata Galatea, performed by Rebecca Hall (flute), John McDonough (oboe) and Akos Kertez (cello). The programme included music by Telemann, Handel and the female composers Isabella Leonarda and Elizabeth Claude Jacquet de la Guerre.

The event was held on Friday 14th November 2014 in the Ballroom of the Grand Hotel Excelsior in Floriana. It is was held in collaboration with the Malta Chef Society, the Institute for Tourism Studies and the management of the Grand Hotel Excelsior. 

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International Conference on Mattia Preti


3 November 2014

Poster_convegno_valmontone

The International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta was invited to organize in association with the Soprintendenza PSAE del Lazio and the Comune di Valmontone an international conference on the celebrated Calabrian artist of the Baroque age, Mattia Preti. The venue of this conference was the Sala dell’Aria of the Palazzo Doria-Pamphilj at Valmontone, which is decorated with a large ceiling fresco painted by Mattia Preti just before the artist left Italy to come to Malta.

In view of the fact that Mattia Preti’s knowledge and practice of architecture has never been properly investigated despite mention of it in some old sources, the director of the Institute presented a paper entitled Mattia Preti – Architetto della Sacra Religione di Malta which will eventually be published as the contribution of the International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta to the advancement of current knowledge on the multi-faceted achievement of Mattia Preti, within the context of the Catholic world of the Baroque.

Download Conference Programme [PDF] [JPG]

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Baroque Architecture in Sicily


Professor Maria Giuffre
Friday 17th October 2014

MariaGiuffre MariaGiuffre2

Professor Maria Giuffre from the University of Palermo, the external examiner of the MA in Baroque Studies courses in the International Institute for Baroque Studies, gave an interesting seminar on the rich Baroque architecture of Sicily to staff and students of the Institute.

This seminar, which was supported by some superb images of baroque buildings in Sicily authored by Melo Minnella, explained the origins and development of Sicilian Baroque architecture in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, focusing on the contribution of the principal architects and artisans involved during this period.

Professor Giuffre's talk was concluded by a reference to the sculptural contributions in plaster of the Serpotta family who were responsible for the adornment of several religious buildings in Palermo and elsewhere. Professor Giuffre is a leading authority on Sicilian Baroque with several books and papers to her credit.

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Life, Society and Culture in the Baroque Age


Friday 13 June 2014

Caspar_van_Wittel_-_View_of_Naples

The International Institute for Baroque Studies organised a post-graduate seminar entitled “Life, Society and Culture in the Baroque Age” in collaboration with the Institute for Tourism, Travel & Culture. The seminar was held on Friday 13 June 2014 at the Conference Room, Student House at the University of Malta.

This seminar was introduced by Professor Denis De Lucca, the director of the International Institute for Baroque Studies. It provided an opportunity for students from both institutes to showcase research that focuses on some aspect of life, society and culture in the Baroque age.

The speakers included Keith Hawkesford who spoke on “Fire and Brimstone: The Technology and Application of Firearms during the Early Modern Period”, Isabella Grima who explored “L’Arte dello Speziale in Baroque Malta Investigated through a Study of the Knights’ Spogli,” Joseph Camilleri who guided participants through the “Architectural Legacy of Giovanni Battista Montano (1534-1621)” and Valeria Pica who presented “A Comparative Study of the Role of the Palace at the Turn of the 19th-Century: The Grand Master’s Palace, Malta; Palazzo Reale, Naples; the Quirinale, Rome.”

Joseph Briffa gave a brief talk on the life and works of Pietro Paolo Troisi, James Sultana discussed “Witchcraft Trials: between Dark Tourism and Dramatization” and Noel Buttigieg explored “Bread and Bread-eaters in 18th-Century Malta.”

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Defending Valletta's Marsamxett Enceinte


Thursday 5 June 2014

Dr Stephen C Spiteri, an academic at the International Institute for Baroque Studies, delivered a lecture titled "Defending Valletta's Marsamxett Enceinte - 17th and 18th century proposals and projects for the Isoletto and Dragut Point." The lecture was held on Thursday 5 June 2014 at the Aula Magna at the Valletta Campus.

In this talk, Dr Spiteri looked at the various defence solutions drawn up by the Order’s military engineers throughout the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as they strove to address this inherent weakness in Valletta’s defences. The presentation focuses on the development of the various fortress schemes and designs, with a particular emphasis on the evolution of the plan, design and construction of Fort Manoel.

Although the building of the mighty fortress of Valletta on the heights of Mount Xeberras solved many of the defence issues which had plagued the Knights of St John ever since they settled down their beleaguered Order in Malta in 1530, the enceinte of their new city also served to create other fresh problems of its own. For one thing, while relatively well protected on its southern Grand Harbour side by the neighbouring strongholds of Birgu,  Senglea, and Fort St. Angelo, the new fortified city was now fully exposed to bombardment and attack along the full length of its northern flank straddling Marsamxett harbour.  Even as the ramparts of Valletta were still taking shape, the Knights quickly began to appreciate the difficulties and challenges posed by the task of securing their city against bombardment and assault from this direction. Already by 1569, various concerns were being raised about the serious threats posed by the promontory of Dragut Point and by the little island jutting out into the middle of Marsamxett harbour, the Isolotto, which, owing to their vicinity to the walls of Valletta, were seen as providing ideal positions from where Turkish batteries could easily bombard the city’s fortifications and its houses in the event of another siege. Various military engineers were set the task of drawing up workable defensible schemes to remedy the situation but none of these would materialize until well into the eighteenth century.

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The Renaissance Society of America: 60th Annual Meeting 2014


rsameeting

Dr Theresa Vella with Dr George Cassar and Prof. Carmel Cassar, Speakers at the RSA Annual Meeting 2014

Dr Theresa Vella read a paper titled ‘Virtuous Exchange: Art and Honour among Artist-Knights and Their Patrons in Early Modern
Europe’, in the third session on Culture and Society in the Spanish Empire, held during the 60th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America. The Annual Meeting was held in New York between 27th and 29th March. Other speakers at the Meeting were Prof. Carmel Cassar and Dr George Cassar.

Abstract: In receiving young noblemen as knights, the Order of St John rigorously excluded men who worked for a living or whose parents did, yet made an exception for artists. By the mid-sixteenth century, knighthood offered a route of self-improvement to artists, though only for those who could prove noble ancestry. Gifted painters within the Order succeeded in straddling the two roles of artist and of nobleman. This paper examines the Order’s relationship with artists with a view into an unusual mechanism in the history of art patronage by Knights in Malta as well as in commanderies stretching from Spain to Poland. This paper will also demonstrate the tension between chivalric values and the growing prevalence of a market economy in early modern Catholic Europe by examining artists-knights in the ranks of the Order and their mechanisms of exchange and gift, as exemplified by Caravaggio, Sustermans, Preti and Nunez de Villavicencio.

Link: http://www.rsa.org/?page=2014NewYork

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Lecture at the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu


Monday 11 November 2013

Rome2013Lecture 

Prof Denis De Lucca, the Director of the International Institute for Baroque Studies, delivered a lecture at the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu. The lecture, titled 'The Contribution of the Collegium Melitense [Malta] to the dissemination of Jesuit knowledge on the fortification of Catholic cities in the Baroque age', was delivered on Monday 11 November 2013.

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The Military Orders: Culture and Conflict


5 - 8 September 2013

Dr Theresa Vella read a paper on ‘Piety and Ritual in the Magistral Palace’ in the ‘Malta’ session of the Sixth International conference organized by the London Centre for the Study of the Crusades, the Military Religious Orders and the Latin East. The conference, titled ‘The Military Orders: Culture and Conflict’ was held at St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, London between 5th September and 8th September.

Abstract: While the churches of the Order of St John have been amply explored as communal sites for the fulfilment of the religious duties of its knights, little attention has been drawn to chapels in knightly residences and private expressions of piety and devotion. As the foremost Hospitaller residence, the magistral palace and the layout of its halls gave spatial form to the private religious life of the Grand Master. This paper demonstrates how the chapels and the magistral chambers as well as their respective art and artefacts afford a singular view onto the expression of piety in the private life of the most eminent of Hospitaller knights. It will also show how the architecture of the Palace was adapted to introduce a greater element of secular ritual and ceremonial into the public life of the Grand Master.

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The Bastioned Tower: Spanish Military Architectural Influences in Maltese Coastal Fortifications


30 - 31 August 2013

almeida_seminar

Dr. Stephen C Spiteri Ph.D., submitted a paper and powerpoint presentation at the 7th International Seminar organized by Centro de Estudos de Arquitectura Militar de Almeida (CEAMA) entitled "Territories, Borders and Frontiers - Fortification Systems" on 30/31 August 2013 in Almeida, Spain. The paper, which is entitled 'The Bastioned Tower: Spanish Military Architectural Influences in Maltese Coastal Fortifications', examines the various factors which influenced the Hospitaller Knights' choice of tower typologies in the early seventeenth century.

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Cities and Festivities in the Baroque Age


9 - 12 May 2013

CitiesFestivities
 

An international conference on the use of the effimero in the Baroque urban environments of Sicily, Spain and Malta was held 9-12 May 2013 in the School of Architecture of the University of Catania, based in Syracuse. The conference, convened by Professor Lucia Trigilia and entitled “La Festa e la Città nell’eta Barocca” was based on the presentation of academic papers focusing on grand festive occasions that were repeatedly held in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Madrid, Catania, Messina, Caltagirone, Noto, Syracuse and Hospitaller Valletta where impressive festivities using diverse types of ephemeral manifestations concerning the living and the dead - which included false building facades, the installation of triumphal arches and impressive stage settings, the manufacture of funerary chapels and catafalques and other objects - all enriched the urban scenarios of the time amidst impressive displays of water devices and pyrotechnics.

The director of the International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta, Professor Denis De Lucca, was invited to give an illustrated presentation on Festive Spectacles and Ephemeral Manifestations in Baroque Valletta, 1566-1798. His presentation dealt with several themes covering the laying of the foundation stone ceremony by Grand Master Jean de la Valette, the festive occasions in the Conventual church marking the election proceedings and festa funebre of the Grand Masters, the bonfire illuminations held on the feast of St. John the Baptist and the festive celebrations announcing the arrival of important personalities from mainland Europe (such as that of the papal legate Monsignor Giovanni Francesco Abbati Olivier to give the ‘stoc and pilier’ to Grand Master Vilhena in 1725).  Professor De Lucca also discussed these events in the context of outstanding examples of visually-stimulating urban spectacles in Baroque Europe, among them the spectacular martial spectacle entitled ‘Constantine’ when the entire city of Munich was in 1574 transformed by the Jesuits into a truly triumphal scenario dominated by the presence of the ‘emperor’ Constantine on a chariot surrounded by four hundred horsemen in glittering armour! These Baroque festive occasions were meant to underline the political ideology of absolutism and the militant spirit of the Counter Reformation which marked the Baroque age, in the case the Catholic church hinged on an accentuation of the belief in the triumph over death evoked by the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday when grand festivities were held in Piazza Navona in Rome and in other cities marked by the construction of magnificent ephemeral triumphal arches designed by the best architects of the time.

Other contributions to the Syracuse conference included Festa, citta e architettura nella corte di Madrid (Prof. Beatriz Blasco Esquivias); Grandiose feste nella citta di Messina tra XVI e XVIII secolo (Dott. Simona Gatto); Feste, processioni e apparati a Caltagirone attraverso le fondi archivistiche (Dott. Maria Sofia Sicurezza) and Musica per la festa di San Giacomo a Caltagirone (Prof. Nicolo Maccavino).The Syracuse conference was concluded with a discussion of a new publication entitled ‘La Festa Barocca in Sicilia’ authored by Professor Lucia Trigilia of the Syracuse School of Architecture. This event was held in the grand hall of recently-restored Villadorada palace in Noto.

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The Art of Dying Well in Baroque Malta


Prof Frans Ciappara
24 November 2012

DeathofCardinalMazarin

The public lecture was held at the Inquisitor's Palace in Birgu. It was organised by the International Institute for Baroque Studies and sponsored by Heritage Malta.  

Professor Frans Ciappara is an academic at the International Institute for Baroque Studies. He is a member of the Ecclesiastical History Society of Great Britain and the editor of 'The Journal of Baroque Studies'. Prof. Ciappara works on the social, cultural and political history of Malta, especially in the eighteenth century. His publications to date have focused on the Roman Inquisition, marriage, the village community, sanctuary, parish priest and parishioners, death, confraternities, and the enlightenment.

Feature from The Sunday Times (27 January 2013) on the Art of Dying Well in Baroque Malta [PDF]

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Vauban's Influence Throughout the World


Vauban Network and the Arras Urban Area
7th July 2011

ARRAS1The Network of Major Vauban Sites was created in March 2005. It is an Association which unites 12 sites fortified by Vauban and inscribed on the World Heritage List. The President is Jean-Louis Fousseret, the Mayor-President of the Greater Besançon area, and the aim of the Network is to co-ordinate actions in favour of the conservation, management and enhancement of this outstanding architectural, urban and landscape heritage, to encourage the development of an efficient network, pooling experience in the areas of maintenance, restoration, conservation, and enhancement and organising tourist and cultural events for the Vauban sites and to develop a resource centre on an international level dealing with the management of Vauban’s fortified heritage.

On the occasion of the third anniversary of the World Heritage nomination of Vauban’s fortifications, the Vauban Network and the Arras Urban Area have together organized an International Study Day concerning Vauban’s influence throughout the world. The international seminar, entitled VAUBAN’S INFLUENCE TROUGHOUT THE WORLD was held at the citadel of Arras on 7th July 2011. Arch Hermann Bonnici and Dr Stephen C Spiteri  from the IIBS were amongst the various historians of military architecture from around the world who met in Arras to discuss  the impact of Vauban’s methods in different regions of the world as well as the influence on his contemporary engineers,  and the ways in which the treaties on fortification spread out his ideas.


  • Philip Bragart: The smallARRAS2 leaflets of the end of the 17th century turning Vauban’s fortifications into public science.
  • Nicolas Kopaney: The edition of Vauban’s treatise of 1737
  • Francisco Munzo Espejo: The influence of Vauban’s treatises on New Spain’s 18th and 19th century fortifications (Mexico)
  • Michele Virol: Vauban’s influence on Protestant engineers in England and Ireland
  • Pierre Cloutier: Jacques Levausseur de Nere’s work in the city of Quebec
  • Victoria Sanger: Vauban’s influence on the thirteen British colonies in the colonial and revolutionary period
  • Gilles-Antoine  Langlois:Vauban’s  invisible thread in Louisiana
  • Stephen C Spiteri & Hermann Bonnici:  A la Vauban – French military architecture in 18th century Malta
  • Daria Chemelina: Vauban’s ideas put into practice in 18th century Siberian urban planning
  • Tsutomu Takashima: Franco-Japanese relations in the 19th century.
  • The seminar was chaired by Michele Virol and presidents of the three main sessions were Alan Montferrand, Philip Bragart, and  Philip Prost.
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Neapolitan Baroque Architecture


Prof Ciro Robotti
1-5 November 2010

Robotti_2Prof Ciro Robotti is a Professor at the Faculty of Architecture 'Luigi Vanvitelli' of the Second University of Naples.  He is the author of various publications on architectural history and conservation specialising on Neapolitan Baroque Architecture as seen through the works of Cosimo Fanzago, Ferdinando Sanfelini and Luigi Vanvitelli, the author of the Royal Palace of the Bourbon Kings at Caserta.  He is a consultant to a number of projects related to his academic career.


  • Il Barocco in Campania attraverso gli architetti protagonisti e gli eccellenti comprimari di opere effimere e permanenti
  • Venezia: la città di pietre sull’acqua. Paesaggio, particolari architettonici e forme simboliche. La laguna come difesa naturale della struttura urbana
  • Architettura dello Spettacolo dall’età classica ai tempi nostri
  • Illustrazione a confronto di opere barocche effimere e permanenti

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La Rinascita del Barocco


Prof. Denis De Lucca in connection with Prorestauro Italia, and the Italian Embassy in Malta
13-14 November 2009

Prof. Denis De Lucca was born in Malta in 1952 and graduated in architecture from the University of Malta in 1975.  He afterwords practised his profession, lectured on architecture and carried out primary source research on various aspects of architectural history.  Following the submission of a doctoral thesis on the Contribution of the Jesuits to the Military Architecture in the Baroque Age he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool.  De Lucca has also occupied the position of Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Malta (1989-2001) and is currently deputy-dean of the Faculty for the Built Environment, Head of the Department of Architecture and Urban Design, and Director of the International Institute for Baroque Studies at the same university.

  • Architects and Architypes of Baroque Malta
  • Advanced methods of detection for the analysis of the interior decorations and of illusionistic architectures painted in Baroque period: the summer apartments of the Pitti Palace in Florence
  • The fortifications of Baroque Malta
  • The advanced technology of 3D laser scanning between real and virtual: new methods for cataloguing, restoration and promotion of Cultural Heritage
  • The restoration of Fort Manoel
  • The Cathedral of Noto: an improving reconstruction
  • The restoration of Baroque buildings in Malta
  • The importance of technologies for the climatic control in restoration interventions of buildings of historical and artistic value
  • Origins and forms of survival of the Baroque
  • From the restoration to the valorisation: cognitive path and experiences on the circuit of Savoy Residences. A case in point: Venaria Reale
  • Experiences of conservation of stone materials: the example of the Cathedral of Notoand of the Temple of Juno in Agrigento
  • The rebirth of Baroque: yards of restoration in Italy
  • The use of innovative materials based on lime, for the consolidation and preservation of historic buildings
  • Arches, domes and vaults in the reat structures of the world
  • The Prorestauro Italia Association, an operational instrument for cultural cooperation and international technology

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Vauban in Malta


Prof. Denis De Lucca in connection with the French Embassy in Malta
22-23 November 2007

VaubanThe International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta and the Embassy of France organised an international conference on the career and legacy of the great French military engineer Sebastien Le Preste de Vauban (1633-1707) which was held at the Phoenicia hotel 22-23 November 2007. The various academic papers presented at the meeting focused on the influence of Vauban on the building of the fortifications of Malta and on the conservation of the military architecture of Vauban and his students in France and in Malta. The proceedings of the conference were co-ordinated by architect Claude Busuttil.
Vauban was a Marshal of France and the foremost military engineer of an age dominated by the political ambitions of Le Roi Soleil Louis XIV, famous for his skill in both designing sophisticated fortifications and devising methods of breaking through them using a system of parallel line of approach. He was named director-general of the fortifications of France on the death of De Clerville, a consultant of the Knights of Malta. Having participated in innumerable sieges for the glory of France, when he focused all the resources of his art in the defences of Landau and Neuf-Brisach, Vauban was made Marshal of France in 1703. He died in Paris on 30 March 1707 of an inflammation of the lungs. In the French revolution, his remains were scattered but in 1808, his heart was found and deposited by orders of Napoleon in the church of the Invalides where his magnificent funerary monument can still be admired today.
The themes dealt with in the conference included a critical overview of the involvement and contribution of French military engineers in Baroque Malta presented by the director of the International Institute for Baroque Studies, Professor Denis De Lucca; an analysis of the contribution of Vauban to the building of several fortifications and fortified cities in France by the president of the Association Vauban, Professor Alain Monferrand; a review of the influence of Vauban on the fortifications of Baroque Sicily by Professor Maria Giuffre of the University of Palermo; a discussion on various aspects of Vauban's theoretical work and field practice by Professors Michele Virol, Emilie d'Orgeix and Philippe Frost and a presentation on the technical aspects of the fortifications of Malta that were inspired by the work of Vauban, by the Superintendent of Fortifications, Dr Stephen Spiteri. Other papers were delivered by Professor Alex Torpiano of the University of Malta on the conservation operations at Fort Manoel and by Dr David Mallia and Architect Claude Busuttil on the conservation of the Baroque military heritage in Malta. Architect Hermann Bonnici of the Restoration Unit who also co-ordinates the Diploma in Baroque Architecture courses run by the Institute contributed an interesting paper on the principles to be observed in projects involving the restoration of the Baroque military heritage.
The well attended Vauban conference, which was inaugurated by the Ambassador of France, H.E. Jean Marc Rives and the Minister for Resources and Infrastructure, the Hon. Ninu Zammit was sponsored by several entities including the above-mentioned ministry, the Malta Tourism Authority, the Kamra tal-Periti, Camray, IMC, JPA, the Alliance Francais de Malte, the Alfred Mizzi foundation and Midsea Books.

  • The influence of Vauban's, achievement on the military architecture of Baroque Europe
  • The conservation of forts and fortifications designed by Vauban

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The Restoration of the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia


Peterhof1Dr Anna Lobovikov-Katz
13 April 2005

Dr Anna Lobovikov-Katz is the head of the BSc in Conservation Studies programme in the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning of the Haifa , Israel.  Her father had masterminded the extensive restoration project of the Peterhof in St. Petersburg which had sustained extensive damage in the second world war during the seige of Leningrad, as St. Petersburg was then known.
Peterhof2

  • History of the Peterhof palace
  • Restoration methodology
  • Photographic survey before and after restoration







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Iliade_funesta

The Baroque Architecture of the Val di Noto, Sicily


Prof. Lucia Trigilia
29-30 March 2004

Prof. Lucia Trigilia, director of the Centro Internazionale di Studi sul Barocco based in Syracuse, Sicily, is the author of several publications and books on the reconstruction of towns and villages in South-East Sicily following the destruction of the great earthquake in 1693.  She also lectures on the history and conservation of the Baroque heritage in the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Catania based in Syracuse.

  • The post-earthquake scenario in South-East Sicily
  • The eighteenth century restoration
  • Contemporary conservation problems

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Design-of-the-CatafalqueThe Baroque Triumph over Death


Dr Petra Bianchi
5 May 2003

Dr Petra Bianchi was a research assistant in the International Institute for Baroque Studies during the period 2000-2006 before taking up her present appointment as Director of the British Council.  She has lectured in Baroque literature in the MA in Baroque Studies courses of the Institute and was appointed by the Board of the Institute to co-ordinate the contribution of the Institute to the 2003 Manoel Theatre Baroque Festival.  This contribution took the form of a well-attended seminar on the Baroque Triumph over Death.
buseck_triumph
  • Baroque Philosophy and Death
  • The Baroque Festa Funebre
  • The Revival of Maltese Baroque Music
  • Images of Death in Maltese Paintings in the Early Modern Period
  • In Memoriam Principis - Dying well in the Baroque age
  • Carapecchia's Chapelle Ardente: History and Documentation



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The Conservation of Metals


Dott. Giovanni Morigi
13-17 May 2002

Giovanni Morigi is the director of the ditta Giovanni Morigi which was founded in 1963 and was responsible for the restoration of various important metal artefacts and statues for the Museo Civico Archeologico of Bologna, Soprintendenza Archeologica of Naples, and the Soprintendenza dei Beni Artistici e Storici of Florence, Turin, Bologna, Pisa, Genoa, and Modena.

  • Ancient and historical metals: bronze, steel and others
  • Direct and indirect bronze casting
  • The corrosion process of outdoor metals
  • The conservation of indoor metals
  • The conservation of outdoor metals

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The Strengthening of Baroque Buildings in Seismic Zones with FRP-Materials


SeismicDott. Angelo di Tommaso
22-26 April 2002

Dott. Angelo di Tommaso is a lecturer at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura of Venice.  He has lectured at the Universitites of Florence and Bologna, and until 1997 occupied the post of Director of the Istituto di Scienza delle Costruzioni e del Laboratorio Sperimentale per la Resistenza dei Materiali at the University of Bologna.  His research interests range from the study of traditional materials to the use of contemporary materials in the restoration of structural elements.  He is the author of over eighty papers on mechanics of building structures.

  • Innovative composite materials for strengthening masonry constructions
  • Conceptual approach for strengthening complex historical constructions
  • Domes and Vaults
  • Towers and campanili
  • Buildings

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Baroque Military

Architecture


Military_arch

Dr Stephen Spiteri
8-12 April 2002

Stephen C. Spiteri is the author of a number of books and papers on various aspects of fortifications and military history of Malta and the Knights of the Order of St. John.  Dr Spiteri has worked in heritage conservation and museums, where he also served as Acting Curator of the Palace Armoury.  He is currently employed in the Restoration Unit, Works Division, Ministry for the Environment and is also a resident academic in the International Institute for Baroque Studies.

  • Introduction to the art of fortification
  • Military architecture in the Baroque age
  • Building methods and techniques - logistic and military considerations
  • Building methods and techniques - structural considerations
  • The fortifications today - change, adaptation, and re-use through history

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Laser Technology as Applied to the Cleaning and Analysis of Paintings, Marble, Stone and Other Materials


Dr Vassilis Zafiropulos
11-15 March 2002

Vassilis Zafiropulos is a Researcher at the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (F.O.R.T.H.) - Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser in Crete since 1989.  He received his Doctorate in Physical Chemistry from the University of Iowa (USA) in 1988.  He has worked on research areas of diverse interest, ranging from Laser Spectroscopy and Laser Induced Phenomena in gases to studies on Laser-Matter Interactions and development of Laser based analytical and diagnostic techniques.  He has co-ordinated nationally as well as internationally funded research projects.  For the last decade he has been involved in research on the use of lasers in the conservation of artworks.  He was the president of the European 'COST' organisation.

  • Fundamentals on Laser-Matter interaction and Laser-based analytical techniques
  • Laser cleaning of paintings
  • Laser cleaning of marble and stone
  • Problems and important issues encountered in laser cleaning
  • Laser cleaning of other materials, general discussion and prospects

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Application of Laser Techniques in Art Conservation Structural Diagnosis


Dr Vivi Tornari
18-22 February 2002

Vivi Tornari is a researcher at the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (F.O.R.T.H.) - Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser in the group of Laser applications.  Graduated in Physical Optics in 1989.  In 1991 was granted an E.U. postgraduate scholarship and awarded a P.E.D. from the Department of Holography at the Royal and Imperial College (RCA/ICSTM) in London.  1992-1995 followed an MPhil/DIC degree in Optical Holography and Holographic Interferometry at the Department of Applied Optics (Imperial College) and Holography Department (Royal College).  MPhil awarded July 1996.  1993-1996 employed at the Victoria and Albert Museum as assistant scientist.  Since 1996 responsible for the Optical Holography and Holographic Interferometry facility at F.O.R.T.H., I.E.S.L., Crete.

  • Introduction and fundamental aspects
  • Applications of laser measurements
  • Practical laser tools in art conservation
  • Examples and characteristic studies
  • Conclusion

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Diagnostics, Materials and Technologies for Restoration


Prof. Franco Sandrolini
21-25 January 2002

Professor of Science of Materials at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Bologna.  He graduated (summa cum laude) in Chemical Engineering.  Major research initiatives focus on building materials and technologies.  He is author of more than 130 scientific and technical papers, and the co-ordinator of several national and international congresses on Engineering Materials and related restoration and conservation technologies.  He is head of DICASM Dept.; Convenor of the Joint W. G. CEN TC 229/246 on standard testing methods for construction materials; President of Italian RILEM Association; Italian representative in EFC; Member of ICPIC Board of Trustees responsible for applied research on restoration materials and technologies.

  • Materials and technologies in old buildings
  • Effects of the environment on construction materials and architectural heritage
  • Materials and technologies for restoration
  • Laboratory diagnostics: instrumentation and testing methods
  • Laboratory diagnostics: evaluation of results for restoration

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Traditional Building Materials and Construction Techniques


Dott. Leonardo Marinelli
03-07 December 2001

Leonardo Marinelli is an architect at the Soprintendenza per i beni architettonici e per il paesaggio dell'Emilia in Bologna.  His major research initiatives focus on the study of tradional materials and building techniques.  He is actively involved in the conservation of agricultural landscape and vernacular architecture, as well as in the professional training of personnel working in the building industry.  He is responsible for co-ordinating courses on building technology organised by the Istituti Professionali Edili of Bologna and Parma.  He is author of numerous studies and publications on traditional materials and construction techniques.

  • Structural aspects of Baroque buildings
  • Traditional building techniques: Research methods
  • Traditional building techniques: Structural and functional criteria
  • Traditional building materials
  • Techniques for the maintenance of Baroque buildings

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Construction Techniques of Baroque Buildings erected in Catania after the Earthquake of 1693


Prof. Salvatore Barbera
12-16 November 2001

Catania2Professor Barbera is a Professor of building conservation at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Palermo, and served as the Director of the Institute of Architecture and Urban Design at the same university.  He graduated from the University of Palermo in 1949, and served as a professor at the Institute of Architecture, University of Venice.  He is the author of various publications on the history of architecture and on architectural conservation.  He is consultant to a number of projects related to his academic interests.

The titles of the seminar included:

  • The "Architetto Pratico" manual written by Dott. D.G. Amico

  • Foundations, walls, and arch constructionCatania1
  • The construction of roofs
  • Finishing works
  • Ancillary works






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Calendar
Notices
IIBS represented at International Conference
The International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta was represented at the seventh international conference of the London Centre for the Study of the Crusades, the Military Religious Orders and the Latin East.
Academic Year 2017/18 - Time Table
Time-Table for Semester 1 - Academic year 2017/18
Latest issue of the Journal of Baroque Studies
The International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta published the first issue of the second volume of The Journal of Baroque Studies.
Award for paper in Journal of Baroque Studies
A paper authored by Mevrick Spiteri and Daniel Borg in the third issue of the Journal of Baroque Studies, published by the International Institute for Baroque Studies, was awarded the “MHS Emerging Scholarly Article for 2016” by the Malta Historical Society. 
Lines of Defence
The International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta and Malta Libraries are pleased to announce the launch of a new publication entitled Lines of Defence - Fortification Drawings of the Baroque Age at the National Library of Malta
Information for Pretertiary Students
Information for prospective students reading for a Pretertiary Certificate in Baroque Architecture
 
 
Last Updated: 3 October 2017

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