Part of the visual narrative of the museum is dedicated to the first art school in Malta which was founded within the Malta University of Literature established in 1800. This School of Art was the ‘Pictoria Artis Schola’ or ‘Scuola del Disegno’ and its artistic curriculum was structured on the classical artistic sensibility dominating academies in Europe at the time. Instead of apprenticing and receiving training with local master artists, students were finally given the opportunity to be formally trained in drawing, painting and other artistic techniques.
This signed and dated drawing by Raffaele Caruana, son of the Maltese artist, Pietro Paolo Caruana, who was one of the first teachers at the new Malta School of Art, is evidence of the high level of rigorous training that students underwent in order to learn how to capture the human body. This academic study was executed in Rome where Raffaele studied at the Academy of St Luke.