Highlights of the month
Portrait of the artist Giuseppe Calì
Edward Caruana Dingli (1876-1950)
Oil on canvas
108 x 88 cm
Empire Gallery – Giuseppe Calì and Colonial Ambitions
Edward Caruana Dingli practically dominated the 20th-century art scene thanks to his versatile artistic talents and his network of anglophile connections. There are many portraits, landscapes, folkloristic scenes and genre works to his name, which were highly appealing for their naturalistic flair heavily doused with Romantic nostalgia and idealism. This engaging portrait of Giuseppe Calì (1846-1930), a most popular Maltese artist of the 19th- and early 20th-century, was executed by Caruana Dingli, who was his former student. Seated at his easel, palette and paintbrush in hand, pausing and posing for this sitting, Calì conveys that quiet grandeur and seasoned sagesse that only a dedicated student like Caruana Dingli would have been able to pick up about his teacher, whom he loved, highly admired and honoured through this portrait.