Education Minister Evarist Bartolo gets his hands on an exclusive copy of The National Portrait Gallery of Malta signed by the author Marquis Nicholas de Piro.

On Friday 27th November 2015, the Education Minister Evarist Bartolo was visited at his office in Floriana by the author of the book ‘The National Portrait Gallery of Malta’, Marquis Nicholas de Piro and the editorial coordinator, Mr Joe Vella. The Education Minister was given a signed copy of this book and leafed through most of its magnificent portraits and rich history by Nicholas de Piro and Joe Vella.

The book represents artistic representations of about two thousand people connected with Malta have been brought together in one book that offers a first-time visual narrative of the country’s past and present well-known, lesser-known and even unknown personalities from every section of society.

It took Nicholas de Piro and his team 10 years to complete their research that culminated in an essentially artistic catalogue that could perhaps be described as the face book of Maltese history through the centuries. The book is dominated by paintings and drawings, but there are also fine examples of sculpture. There is a peppering of caricature and a small collection mainly of professional photographic self-portraits.

“Author Nicholas de Piro and his enthusiastic team visited hundreds of collections and have produced, and indeed created, a national monument which replaces the need of yet another museum. The book is both useful in triggering our abilities of estimation and serves sentiment, education, emotion, opinion, attitude and diversion,” said Mr Joe Vella who contributed a great deal of energy to the project.

Marquis de Piro said that the huge collection, which was mostly photographed by Peter Bartolo Parnis, now offers a broader spectrum than anything of this sort published before. “It carries almost 2,000 portraits, giving us the opportunity to examine the aspirations, the pretensions, the sophistication and even the naïve in and around our people over a period of many generations. The book is politically conscious and very broad-minded but it remains basically an art book. The National Portrait Gallery of Malta is an exciting project which was a pleasure curating. It’s an ideal gift, not only for art lovers and artists, but also for historians, interior decorators, stylists, the old, the young, the creative and the nostalgic.”

The book is published by Miller Publishing and costs €120. It is available in all leading bookshops and all Agenda Bookshop outlets across Malta.