Stunning! Sala dei Cavalieri, a gem in Malta’s capital, has been restored to its former glory
What a beauty! Sala dei Cavalieri has undergone some much-needed TLC works and is now looking absolutely stunning.
Conservation works on the decorative wall surfaces of the Malta Society of Arts’ (MSA) Sala dei Cavalieri, situated on the first floor of the seat of the MSA, Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta, have now been finalised. After applying the last finishing touches in the coming months, the Sala will open to the public later on this year. We can’t wait to check it out!
The Malta Society of Arts has been conducting these conservation works on the wall paintings of the Sala dei Cavalieri since January 2020. The works were planned to last nine months, however, the pandemic, lockdown and the complications caused by social distancing regulations caused the works to stop for five months. These delays meant that works were finished in the last few weeks.
The project was fully funded by the MSA, and works were carried out by ReCoop: The Restoration and Conservation Coop Ltd under the supervision of Project Manager Professor Keith Sciberras.
A little backstory
The Sala dei Cavalieri (also referred to as the Grandmasters’ Hall or Knights’ Hall, situated on the first floor of Palazzo de La Salle) was added to the palazzo in 1732 by the brothers de La Salle in a space which had previously been an open terrace.
While it has been said the hall was conceived as a chapel, there is no evidence of this, especially since the palazzo also boasts a unique chapel on the same floor. Rather, it was probably only intended as a prestigious secular space commemorating the de La Salle family and its connection with the Knights of the Order of St John. Whatever its original intentions, it’s now one stunning jewel in the capital city!
The Sala’s use and remarkable artworks
As the most lavish room within the palace, it was probably used for official and special events. The style of its decoration is 18th Century Baroque Manner. The Hall includes a life-size gilded sculpture of St John the Baptist and gilded busts of varied Grandmasters.
The oil paintings depicting different Grandmasters are the later work of Domenico Micallef and dated 1926-29. The portrait of Enrico de La Salle is a copy of the original found in St Catherine’s Convent further up in Republic Street.