Italian artist Filippo Venuti, who spent nine years living in Malta between 1894 and 1903, left a heritage of many works of art in churches around the Maltese islands, including paintings of the four evangelists and a sketch of the painting at the San Ġorġ Basilica in Rabat. The paintings are currently being exhibited at the ‘Il-Ħaġar’ museum in Rabat Gozo, while restoration work is being carried out by Italian restorer Sara Mattioli.
“This painting of St Luke is part of 4 evangelists and presents a lot of problems, it was restored in the past, there are a lot of infill that overlapping the original paint as well as flaking.”
Restorer Mattioli added that the painting was damaged as a result of conditions prevailing inside the church.
“The other painting presents a lot of losses and nails and deposits of dusting, in particular this painting there are a lot of damage most probably because in the church there were a log of dripping of water, light and humidity.”
The exhibition provides information for the public on painter Filippo Venuti, his life and numerous works, together with his links with the Maltese. The photographic exhibition also documents the restoration process of the five works of art.