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Title: A secret society in early eighteenth-century Malta : the Troisi connection
Authors: Zammit, William
Keywords: Troisi, Pietro Paolo, 1686-1750 -- Criticism and interpretation
Artists -- Malta -- 18th century
Secret societies -- Malta
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: Malta Historical Society
Citation: Zammit, W. (1998). A secret society in early eighteenth-century Malta : the Troisi connection. Melita Historica, 11(3), 309-322.
Abstract: Although acknowledged as being one of the most gifted and versatile of eighteenth- century Maltese artists, Pietro Paolo Troisi (1686-1750?) has not, as yet, been the subject of an in-depth study. Troisi is known to have been a most talented silversmith, medallist, sculptor in bronze, portraitist and designer and his known works in these artistic genres all bear evidence of his remarkable abilities. The major works which have been attributed to him with any degree of certainty comprise Grand Master Vilhena's (1722-1736) coinage and some of his commemorative medals, the Grand Master's bronze bust, commissioned by the Mdina Universita as well as the splendid Troisi silver salver, works which amply demonstrate Pietro Paolo's exceptional artistic competence. Pietro Paolo was born on 29 June 1686, the son of Carlo and Nimpha. His father occupied the position of Master of the Order's Mint for forty-six years, dying in 1730. Pietro Paolo's artistic talent seems to have recognised early since, in 1705, he was sent to study sculpture at the prestigious Accademia di San Luca in Rome, being the second known Maltese - after Melchiorre GaIa - to do so. In April 1714 Pietro Paolo asked to be appointed Master of the Mint, a post still occupied by his father at the time. His request however seems not to have been accepted since he remained in the position of assistant down to 1736. Pietro Paolo's duration of service as assistant and later as Master of the Mint has not been established. His year of death is given as 1750 with, however, no reference as to its source. In a case dealt with by the Inquisition in Malta in 1716, both Carlo and Pietro Paolo were summoned to give their testimony in view of their involvement in what was certainly considered to be an unusual and serious matter. Independently of its significance vis a vis the Troisi artists, the case - concerning the presence on the Island of a secret society made up of members and aspiring members of the Order reveals the establishment and characteristics of such a society some years prior to the first documented masonic activity in Malta.
Appears in Collections:MH, Volume 12, No. 3 (1998)
MH, Volume 12, No. 3 (1998)
Scholarly Works - FacMKSLIAS

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