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
siudzi (32719) 2014-07-13 0:41
These paintings and golden decorations look together extremely unique. Impressive scene without doubting. Very well seen and executed with great exposure, sharpness and colors to achieve stunning visual effect. Congrats!
SnapRJW (29570) 2014-07-13 0:58
Hello Stephen - I am always fascinated by the ceiling decoration that features in churches like this and wonder how the artists managed to work under difficult and uncomfortable conditions.... visions of stiff necks and heavy arms! Here we see flags as a major feature and I wonder if they represent St George? Ornate and richly decorated, I think you have again managed to impart the feel and flavour of the cathedral.
Have a lovely Sunday
besnard (52279) 2014-07-13 1:06
Une belle image de ces fresques d'une grande beauté et d'une grande netteté.
Amitiés et bon dimanche.
papagolf21 (83648) 2014-07-13 2:37
Lorsque la version large s'ouvre, c'est la splendeur qui s'étale sous nos yeux.
L'on prend plaisir à contempler tous les détails de la magnificence.
Très belle réalisation.
ourania (27542) 2014-07-13 2:43
the decorative patterns are mesmerizing and the painted scenes are really fascinating. I appreciate very much the close the close view you are offering us, the well managed perspective and the superb clarity that make observation so easy and delightful. You managed the light very skillfully, there's a great range of warm, harmonious tonalities. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great day,
Royaldevon (27035) 2014-07-13 2:52
Mike (mjw364) always encourages photographers to look up but you have needed no encouragement! This is a beautiful ceiling, both with its ornate mouldings and exceptional paintings.
You have made this fine, detailed shot and composition look easy, when that is far from the truth.
Have a lovely day,
photographer_sg (3257) 2014-07-13 3:03
Another excellent photograph of the ornate ceiling depicted with fine sharpness and details. I liked the off centred view which makes it more interesting. Excellent presentation.
Thanks for sharing and have a great Sunday.
asajernigan (20748) 2014-07-13 4:09
This is a great shot of this magnificent ceiling. The angle of the shot creates a sense of direction for the scene. The lighting and color is great and the photo has fine detail.
pierrefonds (55398) 2014-07-13 4:44
L'utilisation d'un ISO de 3200 et d'une vitesse lente d'exposition permet de voir les détails et les couleurs du plafond de la cathédrale Saint-Jean. L'image est claire et nette. La lumière environnante rehausse les couleurs de l'image. Bonne journée.
PiotrF (5200) 2014-07-13 5:14
a glorious interior and captured beautifully.Lovely composition , fine details, wonderful colors, excellent clarity. Interesting notes.
Sergiom (55735) 2014-07-13 5:52
Nous sommes tous deux dans les plafonds d'église aujourd'hui. Toujours plaisantes à visiter car superbes elles offrent aussi l'occasion de s'asseoir à l'ombre par temps chauds.Quelle merveille de décoration.
Nicou (117686) 2014-07-13 6:35
Quelle image et compo superbe vue quel arche ce plafond d'église ces dorures merveilleuse vue et compo.
bravo et amitié
Fis2 (82696) 2014-07-13 7:22
Another interesting fragment of ceiling.
I like POV and colors.
I love it!
Cricri (102185) 2014-07-14 11:59
Un cadrage bien précis, serré pour mieux en apprécier les fresques, détails et couleurs, netteté et réalisation excellente
emka (74159) 2014-07-14 23:40
What an baroque interior. There is not even centimeter free of paintings or golden decorations. Fantastic place and superb presentation.
WArm regrads MAlgo
delpeoples (52767) 2014-07-17 6:55
These Barocque ceilings sure make a difference to the staid internal decoration of the Presbyterian Churches I've seen in Australia and the UK. Beautiful details, everywhere you look is a masterpiece. The warm light is lovely and you retained the details so well.
- Copyright: Stephen Nunney (snunney) (79973)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-06-00
- Categories: Architecture, Artwork
- Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, Canon 18-55mm EF-S f/3.5-5.6 IS
- Exposure: f/8, 1/20 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-07-13 0:05