Tuesday, October 9, 2012

More on Emvin Cremona

The ceiling of St Publius church, Floriana

Continuing my display of Emvin Cremona's paintings, one has to understand that painting a ceiling, or even a dome is no easy task. One can recall Michelangelo's painting of the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, resting precariously on scaffolding, annoyed by Pope Julius (who wanted the work to finish sooner,) and painting in frescoes at the age of 85! Well, Emvin Cremona had an easier way to do his work, as most of the paintings were done on canvas, and then pasted in place inside the dome, or onto the ceiling. Yet, he did do some paintings directly to the wall, which was complicated by the fact that much of the limestone in church buildings can be affected by salt from the sea water, which in some cases could be less than a mile away. Many walls can flake off because of the salt, which could be a major problem if the painting is done directly to the stone. Moreover even the canvas, which is then glued to the dome or ceiling could be affected by the saltiness in the limestone. This was actually the case with the dome I showed yesterday at the church in Balzan, where the whole dome painting fell down a few years ago, and had to be meticulously re-glued. It's good to keep in mind these facts when admiring paintings such as these accompanying this post, from the church of St Publius church in Floriana.

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