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Title: Alessio Erardi’s ceiling decoration for the Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament, Dominican Priory, Valletta : history, context and an analysis of its state of preservation
Authors: Azzopardi, Andrei
Keywords: Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament (Valletta, Malta)
Mural painting and decoration -- Malta -- Valletta
Painting, Baroque -- Malta
Erardi, Alessio, 1669-1727
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Azzopardi, A. (2018). Alessio Erardi’s ceiling decoration for the Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament, Dominican Priory, Valletta : history, context and an analysis of its state of preservation (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: The main aim of this study is to place The Triumph of the Holy Eucharist by Alessio Erardi and Cristofano De Lucia, the ceiling of the Oratory of the Blessed Sacrament annexed to the Dominican priory in Valletta, in its rightful artistic and historic context. Moreover, after studying the ceiling in great detail up close with the help of a specially assembled scaffold together with the use of ultraviolet and infrared imagery, the areas which have been overpainted and those which are still original have been identified and mapped out. The first chapter outlines the historical context and the circumstances which eventually result in the final realisation of the project to decorate the ceiling. This study illustrates the Oratory as it was in 1712, the dynamics of patronage by the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament and the various attempts at commissioning artists are discussed. Finally, the chapter describes the turbulent history of the Oratory and the consequences on the ceiling painting. The second chapter discussed the complex iconography that is depicted in the ceiling painting. The central theme, the triumph of the Eucharist, is prominently displayed by the monstrance containing the Holy Host held by Pope Urban VI. Surrounding the central figure are the Doctors of the Church who in their theological writings make reference to the true nature of the Holy Host and the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The third chapter addresses the artistic influences Alessio Erardi was exposed to through his career, not only the obvious influence of Stefano Erardi, but also those from his stay in Rome. He responds to the stimulus by Carlo Maratti, the leading artist in Rome at the time, and opens up the eighteenth century by ushering the new style of the Classicising Baroque to Malta. This chapter also discusses the formal analysis of the painting and the underlying geometric structure that unifies the composition. The fourth and final chapter discusses the extent of damages which resulted in significant paint losses all over the painting and the subsequent heavy interventions and stark overpainting. Such a study is not only aimed at understanding the historical significance of The Triumph of the Holy Eucharist but also to show its present state of preservation. The purpose of such an undertaking is to also provide the basis for further studies to determine which conservation and restoration processes are necessary.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2018

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