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Title: A study on the nature of childhood revealed through artworks present on the Maltese islands between 1750-1850
Authors: Stilon De Piro, Nicole
Keywords: Painting -- Malta -- 18th century
Painting -- Malta -- 19th century
Children in art
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Stilon De Piro, N. (2020). A study on the nature of childhood revealed through artworks present on the Maltese islands between 1750-1850 (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: The aim of this dissertation is to use imagery of children present on the Islands to comprehend the lives of children in Malta and Gozo from the middle of the eighteenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century. Children have not been the focus of any art historical research during the centuries prior to this paper. The nature of childhood during the period of the Hospitaller Knights of St John has been examined by Dr Emmanuel Buttigieg in his dissertation for his M.Phil. in early modern history at the University of Cambridge where he wrote about childhood history in early modern Malta focusing mainly on documentary rather than visual evidence and concentrating on a period prior to the eighteenth century. In this thesis I will trace briefly the representation of children in Western art. I will be looking into the study of childhood which has become an interdisciplinary field. I will also explore the impact that the major political and social changes taking place on the Islands had on the lives of children and adolescence in Malta. As the education of children entered into the debate of the philosophers and writers of the Enlightenment I will be looking for any evidence of the impact these ideas had on the way children played and worked. There were few schools on the Island so those learning to read and write were exclusively in the hands of the church and religious orders. This also included artists who worked on commissions for religious patrons. I will also explore the disparities in the manner children from diverse social classes were depicted. I will be looking at images of birth, baptism and the way children were mourned and remembered after they passed away. Maltese eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artists were affiliated to Rome however, I will be looking for evidence that the development of portraiture of children in England had an impact on the way children were represented in artworks in Malta. As Maltese artists and patrons continued to look to Rome for inspiration, I will look for a change in the sensibility of works of art of children. A number of foreign artists chose to make Malta their home so I will be considering their influence on the local artisans. Finally, I will take a look at the impact of photography on portraiture in Malta. An economic boom on the Island following the Crimean War created an affluent middle class who wanted to be recorded for posterity. Portraiture emerged as the first major commercial application of photography. Inevitability more visual imagery of children began to emerge.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2020
Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2020

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