Last in 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
williewhistler (16372) 2014-07-14 2:01
another very impressive view from inside the Cathedral,again you have captured all of the gorgeous details and warm colours expertly in a less than perfect light.
delpeoples (57278) 2014-07-14 2:20
Ciao dear Stephen
An excellent close up of this gorgeous altar. There's a slight OE at the top, but it was really unavoidable given how well the rest of the image is illuminated. I really love these golden tones and the details you got. The artistry of the painting is very impressive.
Thanks for sharing
Royaldevon (37925) 2014-07-14 3:10
Another lovely interior shot from Valetta.
The colours and the details, as well as textures, are very well shown in this nicely symmetrical composition.
There is a little oe at the top but it is of little consequence and, to be honest, could have been cropped without seriously affecting the subject or composition.
Have a lovely day,
asajernigan (21427) 2014-07-14 3:51
This is a great closeup of this fine alter. The details are outstanding and the photo has nice light and color. The vertical format emphasizes the height of the alter while giving us close up detail.
Sergiom (77253) 2014-07-14 4:17
Cet autel secondaire pourrait en faire un primaire dans n'importe quel église. La contre plongée donne beaucoup d'ampleur à l'ensemble. La peinture est très belle avec ce cheval qui s'envole vers de meilleurs cieux.
Nicou (139940) 2014-07-14 4:40
Une troisème mervielle quelle vue avec les beaux chandeliers et ce tableau en fond quelle iamge quelle dorurer et mercielle un cadrage parfait sueprbe.
Bravo et amitié
ikeharel (69765) 2014-07-14 7:58
Good evening Stephen,
Tahnks for the note written.
Nice many details collected in fine light upon, the big painting is drawing most attention when looking at.
Yet, the pillars and red/brown marble texture are most attractive sight.
Fis2 (95983) 2014-07-14 10:05
I loe it.
Excellent frame and colors.
Very well done.
pierrefonds (65244) 2014-07-14 19:08
L'image est resplendissante. La prise de vue permet de voir avec précision les détails et les couleurs de l'autel secondaire. La bonne luminosité rehausse la beauté des couleurs. Bonne soirée.
ChrisJ (112259) 2014-07-15 3:42
It is a magnificent sight for sure. Such a shame that many similar cathedrals and churches around Europe destroyed so much artwork and so many irreplaceable statues during the iconoclastic period in the 15th century. The leaping white horse immediately attracted my attention. A very rare sight within a cathedral, at least for me. Tfs!
COSTANTINO (64130) 2014-07-15 5:02
Hello my dear friend
what could I say for this perfectly decorated
interior of the cathedrale?only greetings
I love everything in this composition
the golden tones the marbles the colors
and the paintings extremely unique
have a nice time
Graal (102570) 2014-07-15 6:19
very nice fragment of interior of cathedral. Good shot, fine symmetric composition. Also I like the image and other details. Well done photo.
Have a nice afternoon.
emka (95073) 2014-07-18 23:54
hello Stephen, beautiful Baroque altar from Valetta Cathedral. Pleasant warm colors, nice sharpness in this interior shot.
WArm regrads MAlgo
- Copyright: Stephen Nunney (snunney) (97447)
- 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/5.6, 1/25 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-07-14 0:06