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Title: The sea in the nineteenth centuary painting in Malta
Authors: Baldacchino, Maria (2012)
Keywords: Sea in art
Painting, Maltese -- 19th century
Artists -- Malta
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Malta is an island nation and the sea is so influential in the lives of the Maltese that it features in a number of artworks. The aim of this thesis is to study how the sea has impinged itself on the art scene in nineteenth century painting in Malta: a time when Malta became Britain's naval base and evolved into an important trading port. The artworks that are discussed in the text are nineteenth century Maltese topographical views; ship portraits; and religious works, in which the sea is portrayed. These works are paintings produced in the oil; watercolour; gouache; tempera and fresco painting medium. Drawings and lithographs will only be of mention as they fall out of the parameters of this research. The paintings concerned are placed in their rightful, historical, social, political, economic, religious and artistic context, both within the International scene and, more importantly, the local scene, for the reader to obtain insight on possible influences and delve into what provoked the production of such paintings. This study seeks to instill further interest on the major local and foreign artists during the stipulated period. A distinction will be made between the representation of calm waters and those of rough seas and a discussion on the difference between the interpretations of foreign and local artists in paint is delved into. A constant intriguing quest throughout this research, while analyzing topographical views, was to observe what was taken from reality and what was simply a fraction of the artist's imagination. The chapters are divided by theme and the paintings are largely discussed in chronological order. Maritime paintings have attracted the attention of a number of scholars and art collectors who published books, exhibition catalogues and artic These authors include Nicholas de Piro with his much sought after publication The International Dictionary of Artists who Painted Malta, which served as a good starting point for my research; and the Maltese maritime historian Joseph Muscat who produced a number of publications particularly relating to the ex-voto tabelle on the Islands. ii Varied samples of the works of art relating to this thesis have been taken up for examination. These artworks are integrated within the text with an in depth description of the artworks' contents; an explanation of the use of the medium and its restrictions and otherwise relating to the forms represented; and the brushwork. These factors will be noted as they are of great importance for the creation of particular effects in a painting and possibly tell the hand of the artist involved when the artwork is unsigned. Reference will always be made to important forms of documentation. In conclusion, the reader will be transported into the twentieth century in order to obtain a brief insight into the continuous influence of the sea in art.
Description: M.A.HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2012

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