Malta Libraries – Public Lecture

A public lecture entitled “THE PORTRAITS IN THE READING ROOM OF THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MALTA” was presented as part of a series of public lectures at the National Library of Malta, Valletta.

The Portraits in the Reading Room of the National Library of Malta

Among the thousands of books in the collection of the National Library of Malta, are several paintings of prominent men who played a part in the cultural history of Malta. The portraits – of which only two are by known artists – range from the seventeenth century to the twentieth. All represent personages who were involved in the history of the NLM, whether at close range as librarians or as benefactors who donated their own collections, or from a distance as patrons of the National Library. Dr Theresa Vella discussed their art historical value, while drawing out their significance within the context of the National Library of Malta.

THERESA VELLA is an art historian with a research interest in early modern art. She read for a PhD at the University of Bristol on Hospitaller art collections. She has written essays on Perez d’Aleccio, Preti, Brocktorff, Bellanti, and Sciortino amongst others. Dr Vella was senior curator of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Heritage Malta, and museological consultant to the Grand Master’s Palace. She is a founding partner of Curatorial Studio, and is a visiting lecturer in History of Art at the University of Malta. She is also the President of the Malta Historical Society.

  • This lecture forms part of Malta Libraries’ Public Lecture Series 2022-2023 at the National Library of Malta ‘Created to Inspire: 500 years of artistic splendour in Malta’. 
  • All lectures in the series are held at the National Library of Malta, Valletta

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