Il-Ħaġar Museum (Pjazza San Ġorġ, Victoria) is honoured to offer an exceptional exhibition of paintings by ESPRIT BARTHET (1919-1999), curated by Nicoline Sagona, from 26th March to 28th May 2023.
In this year marking Il-Ħaġar’s tenth anniversary, it is possible to admire important works by one of Malta’s leading 20th century artists – an actual first for Gozo. Barthet is of the same generation as Anton Inglott, Victor Diacono, Willie Apap, and Emvin Cremona – and his artistic training followed the same pattern as that of his contemporaries, with World War II interrupting the young students’ training abroad. Despite initial hesitation, Esprit managed to establish a style of his own and eventually played an essential role in the emergence of modern art in Malta.
Barthet’s name is synonymous with the famous ‘rooftops’ – a series which he produced mainly in the 1960s and 1970s. He was also a well-known portrait painter and received a considerable number of commissions, not excluding for well-known personalities. Throughout his career he worked in series, experimenting with different styles consecutively. Having served as an art teacher for many years, Barthet also contributed to the educational scene – with an influential role on budding artists. A LIFE OF COLOUR surveys main milestones in his career, also through examples from collections which cannot be easily visited.
Nicoline Sagona graduated in History of Art in 2001, discussing Esprit Barthet’s artistic contribution; she later obtained an M.A. in Cultural Heritage Management. A Heritage Malta employee, she is Senior Curator at the Gozo Museums and Sites which include the UNESCO World Heritage Ġgantija. She has researched and published on various topics, especially related to foreign artists who painted Gozo during their travels. Sagona has been involved in the curation of many temporary exhibitions, ranging from art history to archaeology to ethnography.
The accompanying catalogue is published as Il-Ħaġar GEMS 24. Support is acknowledged from numerous institutions, private and public.
This cultural centre is open 9am to 5pm seven days a week, without any entrance fee.