Highlights of the month

The artist in his studio

Pietro Paolo Caruana (1793-1852 )
Lithograph with hand colouring on paper
14 x 23 cm
Reserve Collection – Prints and Drawings
In this lithograph, Pietro Paolo Caruana, the 19th-century Maltese artist, is seated in his studio, sporting a large beret, an artist’s garb and a long apron. Accompanied by his children and his wife, who holds up a lamp for him to light his cigar, Caruana depicts this interior scene as the front cover of the album, “Costumi di Malta”. Printed in 1829, this album compiles his early experiments in the then relatively new lithographic medium which he was instrumental in introducing into Malta. This work also includes the name of the street, ‘Strada Britannica’ (today’s Melita Street) to advertise the location of Caruana’s studio. Here, Caruana wears two hats: one worn in his role as an artist and the other in that as a father who is duty bound to support his family.