Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Repetitive self-representation : originality in the study of Antoine Camilleri (1922-2005)
Authors: Fsadni, Maria Eileen
Keywords: Self-portraits, Maltese -- Malta
Portrait painting -- History -- 20th century -- Malta
Camilleri, Antoine, 1922-2005 -- Self-portraits
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: Antoine Camilleri’s repetitive self-representation remains, without question, unrivalled in the genre of self-portraiture in the history of Maltese art, and it is precisely its repetition which is key to understanding why he represented himself on so many occasions. Camilleri’s belief in artistic freedom, which challenged the traditional approach to art in Malta that had characterised the centuries which preceded him, places him as a pioneer in the field of modern art in Malta. Therefore, establishing the idea of repetition as originality is the key argument in chapter one. An eternal debate in the history of art which becomes more relevant during the twentieth century because technological advances forever altered the way in which an original would be viewed. This is why an analysis of what theorists and art critics have written about the topic is used to introduce chapter one, which aims to serve as the basis to understand Camilleri’s work. The chapter also focusses on repetition in Camilleri’s oeuvre as a whole, analysing his continued dialogue with the history of art and the way in which he repeated himself. It is only in the second chapter, and the chapters that follow, where the focus turns solely to his repetitive self-representation. Chapter two analyses the way in which Camilleri’s search for identity is an integral component in his self-representation, which is closely linked to his use of personal symbolism. A comparative analysis with other serial self-portrait artists who dealt with the theme of identity is provided in order to understand how Camilleri’s identity is repeated in his own self-representation. This chapter emphasises the idea that one cannot separate Camilleri’s life and identity from his work. The work of Antoine Camilleri was the central topic of three major publications which give a general overview of his oeuvre. The earliest academic publication about the artist is an essay found in Malta: Six Modern Artists, Fiorentino (1991). In this short essay, the author provides a detailed analysis of Camilleri’s work till 1991, emphasising the ways in which Camilleri was a pioneer of modern art in Malta. Although the publication does not cover the last fourteen years of the artist’s life, it can still be considered as one of the best analytical essays about Camilleri’s work published to date. The author does however, fall into the trap of justifying Camilleri’s originality, by ignoring his repetition. The second publication was produced after an exhibition showcasing Camilleri’s clay work, Vella (2006). The book offers the reader a short biographical account of the artist’s life which is accompanied by a catalogue of works which were included in the exhibition. Finally, a monograph of the artist has been published in Cassar (2006). It is the most extensive survey of Camilleri’s work published to date, however, the author favours a descriptive style that fails to analyse the artist’s work. It serves as a good catalogue of Camilleri’s work which invites for further analysis.
Description: M.A.HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2017
Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2017

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
11.35 MBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.