The watercolours in this collection are painted in a manner similar to the art of Vincenzo Fenech, an artist active during the late 18th and early 19th century. Some are complete with ink markings highlighting details and others lack areas of colouring revealing the underlying pencil drawing. Notwithstanding the different degrees of completion, this collection was in all probablitiy painted by the same hand. On examining the different paper used for these watercolours one notices watermarks dating as early as 1805.
This genre of painting was popularised in the 18th century by the silversmith, engraver and watercolourist, Francesco Zimelli (c.1748 – 1803) whose intact collection of watercolours is exhibited at the National Library of Malta. Zimelli’s works represent studies of local folk and life on the Island. The production of such images became highly popular and due to high demand, they were produced profusely. They were presumably bought both by locals and also by visiting foreigners as 'mementos' of life on the Island. Maybe the predecessor of modern day postcards.
In this collection, a variety of subject matters are depicted ranging from popular folk scenes and elaborate local costumes to military and ecclesiastical ceremonial habits used during the 18th century on the Maltese Islands at a time when the Knights of St. John were still present and active.
Style: Figurative Watercolour
Dimensions of frame: Height: 39 cm Width: 35 cm
Dimensions of Illustration: Height: 18 cm Width:14 cm
Materials and Techniques: Paper, Watercolor, Wood
Period: 19th Century Date of Manufacture: 1801-1900