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Title: The life and works of Guzè Damato : case study of Christ the King church, Paola and Saint John the Baptist Church, Xewkija
Authors: Bonett, Matthew
Keywords: Church buildings -- Malta
Reinforced concrete construction
Architects and builders -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Damato, Guzè, 1886-1963
Basilica of Christ the King (Paola, Malta) -- History
Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, Rotunda (Xewkija, Malta) -- History
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The main objective behind this B.A. dissertation is to present a thorough study on the churches designed by Guzè Damato and the introduction of Reinforced concrete as a construction material. The research involves an in depth study of old photographs taken at the time of the construction, the construction techniques involved and the Libri della Fabrica. This information is very instrumental when trying to establish a chronological timeline regarding the construction process of each individual church. One of the most important aims of this research is to give the reader a better understanding of the works of Damato and the introduction of reinforced concrete within each project Damato was involved in. Few were those who wrote about works designed and constructed by Damato without going further into the study of their construction process. This study aims to give a better understanding of the techniques involved in the construction process. From early times, the church has rooted itself within the Maltese community, manifesting very prominently in the Maltese way of life. Their devotion towards their Christian faith led to construct numerous churches throughout each town and city, exhibiting a series of lavish decorations. Furthermore, each community saw their Parish church as their second home, where in desperate times, they would comfort themselves with prayers in order to find salvation through God. The end of the Second World War, led to a number of Parishes to construct larger churches in order to cater for the increasing number in the Maltese population. This is the story behind the present churches of Christ the King at Paola and Saint John the Baptist at Xewkija, Gozo. This dissertation is made up of four chapters. The first chapter consists of a biography of Guzè Damato, starting from his early childhood in Sfax, Tunisia; his studies at the Naval Academy at Torre Anunziata, Naples; and his arrival and stay in Malta. This was rather exciting considering that relatively little to nothing is published about Damato and his career in Malta in the first half of the 20th century. The second chapter comprises of a thorough study of Damato’s first architectural work, the church of Christ the King at Paola, concentrating on the preparations prior to its construction, the new construction techniques involved in the building of the church, the difficulties encountered throughout the entire construction process and an architectural appraisal of the church. The third chapter consists of another comprehensive study on one of the last churches designed by Damato, the Rotunda church of Saint John the Baptist at Xewkija, Gozo. Like the previous chapter, the third chapter covers an in depth study of the construction process of the Xewkija Rotunda, especially the way Damato underwent the construction of the whole church without dismantling the old Baroque church situated on the same spot of the present Rotunda, and an aesthetical appreciation of whole church. The fifth and final chapter discusses Damato’s oeuvre, consisting of numerous churches throughout the Maltese islands. My research was based on numerous old photographs taken at the time of construction of both churches, Libri della Fabrica in the archives of both churches, articles and books relating to the construction techniques involved within both churches. This dissertation lead to a better understanding of the ‘architect’ Damato behind numerous churches constructed in the first half of the 20th century.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2012

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