One of a series of views of the interior of Saint John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta.
St. Johns Co-Cathedral was built by the Knights of Malta between 1573 and 1578, having been commissioned in 1572 by Grand Master Jean de la Cassière as the conventual church of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St John, known as the Knights of Malta. The Church was designed by the Maltese military architect Glormu Cassar (Girolamo Cassar) who designed several of the more prominent buildings in Valletta. The church is considered to be one of the finest examples of high Baroque architecture in Europe and one of the world's great cathedrals.
The interior, in sharp contrast with the façade, is extremely ornate and decorated in the height of the Baroque period. The interior was largely decorated by Mattia Preti, the Calabrian artist and Knight. Preti designed the intricate carved stone walls and painted the vaulted ceiling and side altars with scenes from the life of St John. Interestingly, the figures painted into the ceiling next to each column initially appear to the viewer as three-dimensional statues, but on closer inspection we see that the artist cleverly created an illusion of three-dimensionality by his use of shadows and placement. Also noteworthy is the fact that the carving was all undertaken in-place (in-situ) rather than being carved independently and then attached to the walls (stucco). The Maltese limestone from which the Cathedral is built lends itself particularly well to such intricate carving. The whole marble floor is an entire series of tombs, housing about 375 Knights and officers of the order. There is also a crypt containing the tombs of Grandmasters like Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, Claude de la Sengle, Jean Parisot de Valette, and Alof de Wignacourt.
In 1666, a project for the main altar by Malta's greatest sculptor, Melchiorre Cafà, was approved and begun. Cafà intended a large sculpture group in bronze depicting the Baptism of Christ. Following Cafà's tragical death in 1667 in a foundry accident while working on this work in Rome, the plans were abandoned. Only in 1703, Giuseppe Mazzuoli, Cafà's only pupil, finished a marble group of the Baptism of Christ which might have been influenced by his master's undocumented designs but certainly is strongly dependent on a small baptism group by Alessandro Algardi.
Critiques | Translate
jhm (158016) 2014-07-12 0:25
This interior picture is wonderful through the much nice paintings, also the floor is extraordinarily.
You took these picture with a wonderful clarity and sharpness.
Thank you very much for these nice series.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
williewhistler (16412) 2014-07-12 2:45
given the less than perfect lighting this is an impressive piece of photography,by raising the ISO you have managed to get acceptable exposure settings that reveal all of the beautifully intricate details,fine colour and exception clarity make it fine shot.
timecapturer (49288) 2014-07-12 2:55
a beautiful place and this shot captures the exquisiteness of this enclave so perfectly. It looks so spiritually uplifting in this wonderfully executed and composed image.
Enjoy your weekend - B.
macjake (71113) 2014-07-12 3:39
I was hoping you'd show us more interior views of this Cathedral.
For me personally, its not just whats on the walls, its the floor too! Look at that! Its incredible.
There's no space left un-decorated.
enjoy your weekend
Fis2 (104100) 2014-07-12 4:10
I like pov and light.
Very impressive colors!
Have a nice weekend.
pierrefonds (69873) 2014-07-12 4:54
La distance entre la porte et la croix donne de la profondeur à la scène. La prise de vue permet de voir les détails des décorations sur le mur. L'image est claire et précise. Bonne journée.
marabu61 (11273) 2014-07-12 5:16
Amazing baroque decorations in this church indeed, it is almost an overkill to the senses. I can't see a spot here that is not carved or painted, even the floor is covered.
The warm golden tone of the interior is very appealing too.
have a great weekend
Sergiom (86177) 2014-07-12 6:11
On dirait certainement que la couleur or est à l'honneur dans ce lieu de culte. Autant de richesse autour de la croix est assez contradictoire mais aussi très photogénique.
Noel_Byrne (33148) 2014-07-12 6:15
It's says to see why it is considered so, the level of detail here is great, especially in the detailed floor. I find it a little unusual to see such military inspired design inside a church, but your note explains the knights of Malta well. I really like that you used the frame of the closer door as a good frame for the deep scene inside.
Thanks as always
resat1972 (7576) 2014-07-12 11:49
it is difficult to photograph indoors
become a beautiful work
the colors are very good
lousat (95996) 2014-07-12 16:10
Salut Steph,un style vraiment originale et une capture tres tres riche qui montre nous cet interieur dans la meilleure maniere,bine expose' et avec des details au top partout! Mes compliments et bon Dimanche,Luciano
Nicou (148666) 2014-07-12 21:57
quelle image superbe quelle dorure et captage et ce passage avec la belle croix en fond grandiose compo.
bravo et amitié
carlo62 (53394) 2014-07-14 6:47
mi ero perso questa foto, bella e ricca di dettagli da osservare, grazie all'esposizione.
Magnifico pavimento e bellissima la parete ricca di stemmi e rifiniture dorate, che contrasta molto con la scena del Cristo in croce che si vede attraverso l'arco.
ChrisJ (117199) 2014-07-14 14:19
Looks almost Italian in design, such is the ornateness of the intricate artwork. Good colour and sharpness and a fine close up of the Crucifixion scene. The shields add interest and remind me of the knights of St John castle on Rhodes. Tfs!
- Copyright: Stephen Nunney (snunney) (104877)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-06-00
- Categories: Architecture, Artwork
- Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, Canon 28-80 3,5-4,8 USM IV
- Exposure: f/8, 1/8 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-07-12 0:09