James Vella Clark

Valletta View

James Vella Clark

Acrylic on canvas. 2003.

The work Valletta View was first exhibited at the St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in 2003 as part of James Vella Clark’s solo exhibition Passion in the Village. The artist drew his inspiration from Maltese Villages and townscapes.

This piece shows the silhouettes of the Carmelite Church dome to the right and the St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral Spire to the left. These architectural features dominate above an array of abstracted buildings which are rendered in various shades of cool colours juxtaposed against warmer shades of brown.

This view is immediately recognizable to those who live in the Maltese islands and is to many a comforting sight, indeed the artist himself stated: “I consider myself very religious and, probably, the recurrent appearance of a dome in my paintings represents my beliefs”.

When viewing this work one can note the influence of Esprit Barthet’s Rooftop series, which were also inspired by his time residing in Valletta. Unlike Barthet, James Vella Clark leaves the sky visible in the painting giving the audience a different, perhaps calmer world view of the same subject matter.