Saturday, 16 December 2017

More Christmas art from Malta

Nativity by Giuseppe Cali at Lija parish church
Here are two more paintings from churches in Malta relating to Christmas. The first painting is by Giuseppe Cali and it shows the Nativity of our Lord in the Lija parish dome. Many people unfortunately cannot appreciate it since it so high up and frequently it’s darkened. But I was able to zoom into the scene of the birth of Christ to capture its beauty. Two anecdotes about this painting deserve a mention. Not seen in this section is a basket with oranges, which one of the shepherds presented to Jesus. Lija is known for its good oranges. Then the parish priest who was at the parish when the painting was commissioned was not quick in paying the artist, and so Cali wrote in another section ‘Ho fame’ which in Italian means ‘I am hungry.’
Nativity apse by Emvin Cremona at Msida parish
The second painting shows part of the ceiling of the Msida parish church done by Emvin Cremona, again showing the Nativity. The church ceiling was commissioned to another artist Anton Inglott, who had just finished the apse, showing the death of St Joseph, but he died suddenly at a young age. Then they asked his friend Cremona who finished the entire church ceiling and apses. He was still young at that time and his style had not matured fully, but still one can see a beautiful rendition of what happened in the cave of Bethlehem, with Mary surrounded by at least 17 angels, besides others in the background. St Joseph kneels next to Mary who holds baby Jesus for everyone to admire and adore.

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