Any discussion of Art in Malta from the seventeenth century to the twentieth century cannot bypass the overwhelming role that Rome played in its development. The Eternal City was not only one of the most important artistic centres in Europe, but also the heart of Catholicism, and Malta, through the Order of the Knights of St John and through its Church, yearned for artistic sophistication by securing important links with some of the greatest artists active there. This state of affairs did not change in British colonial times, and in the nineteenth century, Rome continued to exert tremendous influence on artistic developments in Malta, at a time when the largest portion of commissions came from the numerous churches that dotted the island. Gozo also had its fair share of this phenomenon, and with the creation of the Diocese in 1864, these links with Rome were strengthened. Fresh from his successful defense of this doctoral thesis, Mark Sagona will discuss a number of paintings and sculptures produced by prominent and less-prominent Italian artists for the sister island in a span of one-hundred years.
The on-site lecture will focus on paintings and sculptures produced for Gozo by Domenico Bruschi, Mario Gori, Attilio Palombi, Virginio Monti, Silvio Galimberti, Giovanni Battista Conti and Carlo Pisi. The itinerary includes the Cathedral church and St George’s Basilica, the Xaghra Basilica, the parish church of Fontana, the church of the Franciscan Nuns in Victoria and Il-Hagar | Heart of Gozo Museum. Participants will have the opportunity to have a close look at actual works of art and discuss on-site.
The organisers would like to inform participants that the event will be filmed for PBS programme Kultema.
Mark Sagona (b.1976) is an artist and academic. He studied Art privately in his father’s studio, at the Malta Government School of Art in Valletta and at the University of Malta. His works have been exhibited in Paris, Rome and Brussels and he has held eight one-man exhibitions in Malta and abroad. Works by Mark Sagona are scattered in various private and public collections around the world. He holds a First Class B.A.(Hons.), M.A. with distinction and has just been awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Malta. Sagona has been a visiting lecturer in the Department of History of Art, Faculty of Arts, University of Malta since 2004. He has conducted pioneering research on the decorative arts, is the author of various studies on Art in Malta, and has lectured extensively on Maltese art and artists.