An Art Lover
Its rich history, historic buildings and cultural attractions makes Malta an open air museum. Malta and Gozo boosts themselves of great local artistic talents throughout their long history.
St. John's Co-Cathedral: The Cathedral was one of the gems built in baroque style by the Knights of Malta in the 16th century after the ending of the Great Siege in 1565. The interior of the Cathedral is decorated in large part by Mattea Preti who is an Italian Baroque artist. The interior is in a 17th and 18th century style. Preti, painted the ceiling and side altars with scenes describing the life of St.John. The art which gives the illusion of three dimensionality, is impressive to the viewers. The cathedral contains eight chapels all decorated in rich architecture, each of which is dedicated to a particular saint. Notable is the chapel dedicated to St. George in which one can admire one of the altarpieces which is Preti’s first work in the church and one of his best masterpieces. Another top masterpiece in the Cathedral is The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist (1608) painted by Caravaggio which is considered to be one of his most impressive works and a masterpiece of early baroque, depicting his chiaroscuro style. One can see this masterpiece at the St.John’s museum. This is the only painting he ever signed.
Grand Masters’ Palace, Valletta: One of the first buildings ever in Valletta, first hosted the Knights of Malta, then by the British where it served as the Governor’s Palace and today it houses the office of the President of Malta. The palace hosts several masterpieces and works of art including armoury and weapons used during the period of the Knights of Malta, a tapestry chamber, the hall of the ambassadors and the former Hall of the Supreme Council of the Knights. The latter is today known as the Throne room and includes wall painting decorations that show several scenes of the Great Siege of Malta. The Tapestry Chamber is decorated with a unique set of Gobelins tapestries. There is also a popular armoury which houses a number of armours which date from the 16th to the 18th century.
Located in Valletta, the National Museum of Fine Arts presents a collection of art dating from the late medieval period to the contemporary. It includes various works of Mattia Preti plus other works with a Maltese connection and also many internationally acclaimed artists which date back from the 14th century up to modern times. It houses also a collection of Maltese furniture and watches. Its stairways are considered one of the most beautiful in Malta.
The Malta Arts Festival will takes place annually in July in various venues in Valletta, Floriana, Mdina, Birgu and St.Julian's. Witness top quality showcase of local and overseas artists from around the globe. Experience this unique festival accompanied by a visual feast of colour, fashion, dance, music, theatre, visual arts and other surprises which attracts people of all ages, styles and genres. In Gozo, the Victoria International Arts Festival is held as well in July and is another opportunity for culture-vultures to explore what the islands have to offer.
Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum houses an extensive collection of art and antiques which includes paintings, furniture, jewellery, armour and coins from different historical periods. There is an informative commentary offered to its guests. The collections of art in the house were assembled by Frederick Gollcher who was the last owner of this house. There is also an internal courtyard which complements this medieval palace. Palazzo Falson is known for the ten-hour clock it houses which was made in France and a similar clock is only found in the Louvre Museum in Paris.