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Title: Mapping artistic patronage in late Medieval and Renaissance Malta
Authors: Grech Orr, Christina
Keywords: Art, Medieval -- Malta
Christian art and symbolism -- Malta -- Medieval, 500-1500
Art, Renaissance -- Malta
Christian art and symbolism -- Malta -- Renaissance, 1450-1600
Art patronage -- Malta
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Grech Orr, C. (2020). Mapping artistic patronage in late Medieval and Renaissance Malta (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: Throughout this dissertation I looked at primary sources, namely the Documentary Sources of Maltese History series by Stanley Fiorini as well as by consulting the original archival documents found in national archives. For secondary sources my main readings were mainly Godfrey Wettinger’s article on ‘Artistic Patronage in Malta, 1418-1538’, in Ħal Millieri a Maltese Casale, its Churches and Paintings, ed. A.T. Luttrell, Valletta, Midsea Books, 1976, 108-113 as well as the extensive publications by Mario Buhagiar. Buhagiar’s and Stanley Fiorini’s Mdina The Cathedral City of Malta: a reassessment of its history and a critical appreciation of its architecture and works of art, volume i, Valletta, Central Bank of Malta, 1996, Buhagiar’s, The Late Medieval Art and Architecture of the Maltese Islands, Valletta, Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, 2005, ‘Church Art and Architecture in the Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries – A Focus in Some of Malta’s Lesser Known Artistic Patronage’ in M. Buhagiar, Essays on the Knights and Art and Architecture in Malta, Malta, Midsea Books, 2009, 73-86 and ‘The Qormi Pala d’Altare and Artistic Patronage in Malta during the Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries’ in Proceedings of History Week 1984, ed. S. Fiorini (Malta, 1986), 21-30, by Buhagiar, were pivotal readings for me in order to delve deeper into the research topic and to understand better the contextual framework of the time. Furthermore, Charlene Vella’s The Mediterranean Artistic Context of Late Medieval Malta 1091-1530, Valletta, Midsea Books, 2013, was an essential read as it supplied me with a wealth of knowledge for my study. Vella’s other writings, such as her unpublished PhD thesis, In the Footsteps of Antonello Da Messina: the Antonelliani in Sicily and Venice in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, University of Warwick, 2015, ‘Three recently restored Renaissance paintings by Antonio de Saliba on Malta’ in At Home in Art, ed. Charlene Vella, Valletta, Midsea Books, 2016, 47-66 and ‘Marriage Alliances for the Sake of Art: The Case of Renaissance Messina, Sicily, and the Repercussions of the Maltese islands’, Storja 2018-2019, 2019, 1-24 were most certainly valuable sources to learn from. Chapter one will discuss the surviving and documented art works produced for Late Medieval Maltese patrons which will then follow by Chapter two, which will focus on the artists employed on the artistic undertaking. This will discourse on the foreign and local artists assigned on the commission and will delve on how some patrons had selectively chosen to direct their art enterprises to well-known masters overseas, thus proving that their patronage was well-informed. Notwithstanding the matter that it was primarily Mdina, Rabat and Żejtun, that sought for acclaimed artists beyond our shores, a deviation from the norm was also seen, such as for instance by engaging the local craftsman, Cola Curmi (doc. 1520-1535) to work for the Cathedral Chapter and producing sumptuous works of art. Accordingly, even though most of the works in countryside churches were produced by native artists, there had too been exceptions at times as will be seen with the case in Qormi. Chapter three will then examine the patrons involved on the commission and how some affluent and aristocratic citizens demonstrated to be driving forces for artistic production on the island. Whilst Appendix A will be a catalogue entry of surviving works of art produced, Appendix B will deal with works which although do not exist, have existing archival documentation. As will be discussed throughout the dissertation, whether or not these documented works were indeed produced, they would nonetheless still testify to patronage in Late Medieval Malta and are thus worth art-historical interest. Even though architecture is truly a valuable indication of artistic patronage, this dissertation will focus mainly on paintings, sculptures and objets d’art and so knowledge on the design and structure of Late Medieval buildings would call for research beyond the focus of this study.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2020
Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2020

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