Malta has a rich history of art that spans centuries, and the island's many museums, galleries, and cathedrals offer a wealth of opportunities for art lovers to explore and discover. From famous artists to contemporary works, there is something for art lovers of all stripes to enjoy on this picturesque island.
Here are six recommended destinations to add to your itinerary to experience the best of Malta’s art scene.
One must-see destination for art enthusiasts is MUZA, the National Museum of Art. Located in the heart of Valletta, this museum houses an impressive collection of art, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs. The museum's collection includes a wide range of styles and periods, including Baroque, Renaissance, and modern art, featuring works by famous Maltese artists such as Edward Caruana Dingli and Emvin Cremona as well as several international artists
Another must-visit destination is St John's Co-Cathedral, also located in Valletta. The Cathedral is renowned for its stunning Baroque architecture and beautiful works of art. The Cathedral's vaulted ceilings are adorned with intricate frescoes and the chapels are home to some of the most famous works of art in Malta, including paintings by renowned artists such as Caravaggio and Mattia Preti. The most famous of these is without a doubt Caravaggio’s "The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist," which depicts the martyrdom of the saint with striking realism and emotion. The painting, which was completed in 1608, is considered one of Caravaggio's masterpieces, and it is said that the artist himself was so pleased with the final result that he donated it to the Cathedral.
Spazju Kreattiv is perfect for contemporary art lovers. Located in Valletta, this cultural centre hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing the work of local and international artists. The exhibitions and installations are always innovative and thought-provoking, providing a platform for emerging artists to showcase their work. It's a great way to see a fresh perspective on modern art.
Housed within a 400-year-old former warehouse, this independent art centre located in Valletta is dedicated to promoting contemporary art and design, showcasing the work of influential local and international contemporary artists through a dynamic temporary exhibition program that runs throughout the year. The centre also hosts talks, workshops, and other events from time to time.
For those looking for something a bit more off the beaten path, Christine X Art Gallery in Sliema is a hidden gem. This small, but well-curated gallery features a rotation of works twice a month and has a friendly and knowledgeable staff who are more than happy to answer any questions about the artworks and the artists. It's a perfect place to find a unique piece of art for your home, or simply to enjoy the exhibits.
This welcoming little art gallery in the seaside village of Marsaskala organises regular exhibitions. Here, visitors can find an array of paintings and mixed-media art created by artists from the Maltese islands. The artwork on display is diverse and showcases a wide range of styles and techniques, from traditional to contemporary. The gallery is particularly known for its focus on emerging artists, giving visitors a chance to see the latest trends and styles in Maltese art. During the summer, the gallery is also known to host an outdoors exhibition of local artists selling their works along the town’s popular waterside promenade.
Last but not least, Blitz Gallery in Valletta is a great spot to experience the best of Malta's contemporary art scene. This forward-looking gallery embraces innovative approaches to art and sculpture and features contemporary pieces by both established and emerging artists. The gallery is known for its focus on cutting-edge art and is a great place to discover new talent.
Whether you're interested in classical or contemporary art, or anything in between, you'll find something to enjoy on this beautiful island.
Images above: ©VallettaContemporary
Images below: ©RudyBuhlerArt
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