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Title: Francesco Zahra’s passion of Christ cycle at the Archbishop’s Curia, Floriana : a condition analysis
Authors: Bonnici, Analise
Keywords: Zahra, Francesco Vincenzo, 1710-1773 -- Criticism and interpretation
Painting, Baroque -- Malta -- 18th century
Mural painting and decoration -- Malta -- 18th century
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This dissertation analyses the condition of the Passion of Christ cycle by the leading Maltese Late Baroque artist, Francesco Zahra and its history within the Archbishop’s Curia in Floriana. The in-depth study of the nine works of the original fourteen work cycle in the Archbishop’s Curia will discuss the history of the paintings during their time within the Curia, their preservation throughout the years, and their current state of preservation. This study analyses the history of the building itself; its history as a Jesuit Retreat house and its transformation into the Archbishop’s Curia many years later. Other events surrounding the Archbishop’s Curia are also important to note as they too had an effect on Francesco Zahra’s large cycle. This will be followed by a discussion on the provenance of the works and the debate on questions such as; when were the works commissioned? Were they commissioned for the retreat house or did they find their way there over time. Research into the archives of the Curia and the Order of St John was carried out in an attempt to answer such questions. However, it is important to note that the transferring of this building from one owner to the next led to the loss or misplacement of a number of archival documents. The second chapter of this dissertation analyses the development of the style of Francesco Zahra, the artistic situation of the 18th century, the authorship of the cycle, as well as the influences for these works and other religious cycles by the artist. The change in location of the works is also documented here as well as a brief explanation on how these changes affected the current condition of the works. An analysis into how the works formed part of the artist’s career and a basic description of their current condition also form part of this chapter. The final chapter gives an in-depth condition report on eight of the nine works in the Archbishop’s Curia. These reports include a formal analysis of the composition, and style, a condition analysis, and finally, notes the various restoration processes needed to return the works to their former glory. Each catalogue contains an image at the end of each report which maps out the various overpainted areas; be it over gesso, the original work, or minor retouches. They also map out punctures and wrinkles which have come about by the passing of time. This dissertation therefore serves as a starting point for future conservation works on the Passion Cycle by Francesco Zahra.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2017
Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2017

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