MUŻA is the Maltese word for muse. It is also the name of the National Community Art Museum located in Valletta and housed in Auberge d'Italie - a late 16th century building that used to be the official residence of the Italian Knights of the Order of St John.

Sincerely Loree: MUZA, Malta

The collection at the art museum has been grouped into 4 main themes entitled: The Mediterranean, Europe, Empire, and The Artist. MUŻA houses artwork and sculptures from the 15th until the 20th century. Its collection includes several paintings by renowned Baroque artist Mattia Preti. Also on display are works by Guido Reni, Filippo Paladini, Giuseppe Cali, Matthias Stomer, Antoine de Favray and others.
Sincerely Loree: MUZA

Sincerely Loree: MUZA

Paintings of Malta's iconic Grand Harbour depicted by William Turner, Edward Lear and Louis Ducros are also on display.

Esprit Barthet, Isabelle Borg and Emvin Cremona are among the Maltese artists whose work is exhibited at MUŻA. During a visit last September, I was really drawn to the vibrant colours and strong lines of Barthet's portrait of Mari tal-Bajd (Mari the Egg Seller). Barthet is amongst Malta's foremost portrait artists and I have also been lucky to see some of his works in private collections.

Sincerely Loree: MUZA - Mari tal-Bajd by Esprit Barthet

On the ground floor of the museum is a room dedicated to Antonio Sciortino, a renowned sculptor who has given Malta some of its most well-known monuments, such as the Great Siege Memorial, located opposite the Law Courts, and Les Gavroches, a work that depicts three poor street urchins living in the streets of Paris. This was inspired by the character of Gavroche in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. A replica of this sculpture can be seen at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta. The original has been in safe-keeping inside the museum since 2000.  Les Gavroches is considered to be Sciortino's masterpiece and is one of my favourite sculptures because of the sense of movement and vitality on the faces of the three children. There is also a cheekiness to their smiles that I find rather endearing.

Sincerely Loree: MUZA - Les Gavroches by Antonio Sciortio

Sincerely Loree: MUZA

A few beautiful pieces of antique Maltese furniture that have exquisite workmanship are also on show at MUŻA.

Sincerely Loree: MUZA

Sincerely Loree: MUZA, Malta

MUŻA is a compact museum and a visit should not take longer than 2 to 3 hours but this is sufficient time for anyone with an interest in Art to learn a little bit about the artistic heritage of Malta.

MUŻA is open from Thursdays to Sundays, between 10:00hrs and 16:30hrs. 

Sincerely Loree: MUZA
MUŻA, Auberge D’Italie, Merchants' Street, Valletta  VLT 1170
Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

The texture of Barthet's egg seller is intriguing, in the boldness of the brush strokes in contrast to the surfaces of eggs. Fascinating. Lovely museum.

Pipistrello said...

That marquetry in the furniture is incredible! It's wonderful having such a great museum so handy.

Loree said...

@Salty Pumpkin: I really love paintings with bold brush strokes.

@Pipistrello:isn't it just? It must have taken some amazing talent to create.

Parnassus said...

Hello Loree, I often like small but high quality museums better than the overwhelming, comprehensive ones. The smaller museums are more personal, and one can really learn about what is displayed. College museums are often like this. By the way, I many be displaying my ignorance, but why does one need drawers in a prie-dieu?

Loree said...

@Jim: well I never thought of that but I guess you could put your prayer book in the drawer, or a handkerchief, or gloves. I guess you could also put a bar of chocolate :)
I'm just being silly, of course.

Mary said...

I wished I'd had time to visit when there Loree - I too love smaller, more personal museums. I wonder how long it will be before we can visit any museum or gallery the way we used to. I for one will never manage to do it in a mask!

Your harbour is fabulous - I must look up those artists renditions - I especially love William Turner's work.

Mary x

Gattina said...

I got on your blog and was lost ! You have changed it completely and I had to look where was the last post ! Is that for your birthday, lol ? The paintings and statues are real beautiful, even Turner was in Malta !

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Darling Loree,

It is such fun to reconnect with you. But, so much has changed since we last visited you and what a joy it all is!

Such a visual delight you give your readers here with these fabulous photographs. This looks to be exactly our kind of museum.... intimate and full of treasures that one can have a close look at and take time to ponder.

We have never visited Malta and can only think of the iconic Valletta [if that is the correct spelling] balconies for which we believe Malta is famous.

Thank you for your warm and kind welcome. We shall return!

Loree said...

@Mary: I agree that larger museums can be overwhelming and tiring. I loved the Louvre but it would take the best part of a months to really see it properly.

@Gattina: hope you'll find it easier to find your way around. It's not too difficult :)

@Jane and Lance: yes, the balconies of Valletta are, indeed, famous. Valletta remains largely unspoilt, unlike the rest of the island. It's so sad. So glad you are blogging again.

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