Thirteen Old Master paintings from an international private collection have been loaned on a long-term basis to MUŻA, the Malta National Community Art Museum.
The works include paintings by renowned artists such as Peter Paul Rubens and François Boucher and others attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and Giovanni Bellini, among others.
Until the end of October, the artworks, ranging from the late 15th to the mid-18th centuries, will be displayed together in an exhibition “Masterpieces at MUŻA”. They will then be integrated into MUŻA’s display for five years, which can possibly be extended to 10, Arts Minister José Herrera said on Friday as he inaugurated the exhibition.
The exhibition is a celebration of the harmonious idiom of the High Renaissance typified by the vast influence exercised by Raffaello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci.
“It is our great fortune today that some of these works are being presented at MUŻA, not just for us to appreciate their beauty but also to understand the major role of culture in the development of every nation,” Herrera said.
The minister congratulated Heritage Malta for successfully bringing these masterpieces to Malta and reiterated his ministry’s commitment to further support the agency’s efforts and similar future initiatives.
Admission to the exhibition will be free to Heritage Malta members, children who are Heritage Malta student passport holders and seniors who are Heritage Malta passport holders. Up to two adults accompanying children or seniors will be admitted for €3 each. All others pay €10.
MUŻA’s opening hours are as follows: all week except Tuesday - 10am to 4.30pm. On June 12 and 13, the hours are being extended to 10pm and 8pm respectively. The admission fee during the extended hours will be €5. Children aged up to 12 years will be admitted free of charge.
This exhibition is being supported by Visit Malta; the arts and finance ministries, and the University of Malta's Department of Art and Art History.
The 13 loaned masterpieces are:
1. ‘Portrait of a Young Woman’ - Attributed to Giovanni Bellini (Venice, c.1430-1516) and circle; Late 15th / early 16th century; Oil on panel
2. ‘Portrait of Pietro Soderini’ - Unknown Florentine Artist; 16th century; Oil on panel
3. ‘Madonna and Child with the young St John the Baptist and an Angel in a Landscape’ - Maestro Tommaso (active 1490-1510) and Lorenzo di Credi (Florence, 1459-1537) [?]; Late 15th / early 16th century; Oil and tempera on panel
4. ‘Madonna and Child with the Infant St John the Baptist’ - Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (Anchiano, 1452-Amboise, 1519) and circle; Late 15th / early 16th century; Oil and tempera on panel
5. ‘Madonna of Divine Love’ - Attributed to Raffaello Sanzio (Urbino, 1483-Rome, 1520) and workshop; 16th century; Oil and tempera on panel
6. ‘Madonna and Child’ - Milanese School (Studio of Leonardo da Vinci, Anchiano, 1452-Amboise, 1519); Early 16th century; Oil and tempera on panel
7. ‘Ecce Homo’ - Andrea Solario (Milan, c. 1465-before 1524) and circle; Early 16th century; Oil on panel
8. ‘Saint John the Baptist’ - Giovanni Baglione (Rome, 1566-1643); Oil on canvas
9. ‘Saint John the Baptist’ - Circle of Leonardo da Vinci (Anchiano, 1452-Amboise, 1519); Late 15th / early 16th century; Oil on panel
10. ‘Crucifixion’ - Peter Paul Rubens (Germany, 1577-Belgium, 1640) and workshop; Early 17th century; Oil on panel
11. ‘Leda and the Swan’ - After Michelangelo Buonarroti (Caprese Michelangelo, 1475-Rome, 1564); 16th century; Oil and tempera on canvas (laid down on panel in four parts)
12. ‘Pan and Syrinx’ - François Boucher (Paris, 1703-1770); Oil on canvas
13. ‘The Tempest’ - Claude-Joseph Vernet (Avignon, 1714-Paris, 1789); Oil on canvas