Highlights of the month

View of St John’s Conventual Church of the Order, with the 8th September Procession

Unknown artist
Oil on canvas
93.5 x 103 cm
Europe – Gate to Europe
This painting shows the annual procession commemorating the Victory of the Great Siege of 1565 and the Nativity of Our Lady, with whose intercession the Great Siege was lifted on her feast day on 8 September. At the back of the procession is Grand Master Lascaris-Castellar (1636-1657). To his left is the page holding the sword and poignard of Grand Master de Valette which were seen in public only during these ceremonies. Through this painting, we also get to admire the façade of St John’s Co-Cathedral in its entirety and appreciate the large scale of this building. We can appreciate the austere Mannerist design of this structure, the work of the Maltese architect and military engineer Girolamo Cassar (c. 1520 – c. 1593). The sombre look of the façade reflects both Cassar’s training as a military engineer and the solemn mood of the Order in the years following the Great Siege.