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Title: Imagines ad Maiorem : principis et cardinalis gloriam : an analysis of the decorative programme of Verdala palace, Buskett, Malta
Authors: Privitelli, Giulia
Keywords: Mural painting and decoration -- Malta -- 16th century
Palaces -- Malta -- History -- 16th century
Knights of Malta -- Malta -- Buildings -- History -- 16th century
Order of St John -- Malta -- Buildings -- History -- 16th century
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: In what is possibly the first visual biography recounting the journey of a Cardinal Grand Master’s rise to supremacy within the Order of St John, in Malta, the primary aim of this study is, thus, to undertake a profound iconological analysis of the wall paintings in the ground-floor rooms of the late sixteenth-century summer residence, known as Verdala Palace, in the limits of Rabat, Malta. Although their conception and subsequent history is of fundamental importance, it is the ideological and political context of the patron, Cardinal Grand Master Hughes Loubenx de Verdalle (1531-1581-1595), and the artistic formation of the Tuscan-born painter, Filippo Paladini (c.1544-1614), that the study seeks to explore, where the intention is, ultimately, to show the iconographic authenticity of the decorative programme, despite the stylistic changes incurred over time. The subjects of the wall paintings of the ground-floor of the summer residence range from a series of historical events from the life of the Cardinal Grand Master, allegorical personifications, representations of virtues and several divinities from Roman mythology, and a number of biblical scenes inspired from the Old Testament. These have, however, stylistically suffered from a turbulent history and are nowadays, largely the product of a period of neglect and successive restoration interventions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The complex iconographic programme has, in contrast, been largely retained. Yet, it is still under-valued for its potential in providing insights into late sixteenth-century artistic patronage under the rule of the Order of St. John, and more particularly in affirming the authority and ideology of the patron, and role of an artist-galley slave, Filippo Paladini.
Description: M.A.HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2015

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