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Title: Pietro Paolo Zahra and the Roman baroque manner at the Oratory of the Crucifix, Senglea
Authors: Agius, Gabrielle
Keywords: Zahra, Pietro Paolo, 1685-1747
Sculpture, Baroque -- Malta
Sculpture, Maltese -- Malta -- 18th century
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Chapter One deals with the context within which Pietro Paolo developed from an artisan scalpellino into a more prolific sculptor. An analysis of the general decorative scheme of the Oratory dedicated to the Holy Crucifix is also given in this chapter. The following three chapters deal with the three main typologies found within the Oratory; the Gloria, the Angeli Adoranti and the Angels holding the Passion Symbols. Stylistic and iconographical comparisons within Zahra's own work, as well works which may have been of influence to the sculptor are made. The typologies are also traced to their origin in the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and thus given as evidence that Zahra as well local sculptors were emulating the Roman Baroque. This also strengthens the importance of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's work, as his manner was transported out of Rome. The main difficulties encountered throughout this dissertation resulted from the fact that a number of documented works by Pietro Paolo Zahra no longer exist, as church interiors went through considerable redecoration during the nineteenth century. As Pietro Paolo repeated his typologies of figures within different works, his schemes do not achieve varied exciting results. However a sense of development in conception as well as execution of altar reredoses can be traced throughout his career. This dissertation is indebted to the numerous publications which focus on Baroque sculpture in Malta and Rome. The work of Bernini scholars, particularly Irving Lavin, Rudolph Wittkower, Jennifer Montagu, Valentino Martinelli and Mark Weil was a reference point throughout the research. Roman Baroque Sculpture for the Knights of Malta by Keith Sciberras was also invaluable in terms of in-depth research on individual works imported from Rome by the Knights of St John. Francesco Zahra 1710-1773: His Life and Art in Mid-18th Century Malta also Keith Sciberras provided the context and analysis of works being produced during this period in Malta. The publication by John Debono Documentary sources on Maltese Artists: Pietro Paolo Zahra (1685-1747) and his son Francesco Vincenzo (1710-1773,) which groups the notarial deeds of the sculptor, was critical in the early stages of research.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2014

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