curriculum vitae:

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr Theresa Vella
Dr Theresa Vella is a Visiting Lecturer on Baroque Painting with the International Institute
of Baroque Studies, and an art historian with a research interest in the history of art
collecting and patronage as well as the art of landscape painting. Formerly Senior Curator
of Fine Arts with Heritage Malta, Theresa Vella is currently engaged as the museological
consultant for the Palace Regeneration Project. In 2007 she was a member of the Scientific
Committee for the exhibition Caravaggio and Masters of Realism in Malta, organized by
the Foundation of St John’s Co-Cathedral.
Between 2009 and 2012, she read for a PhD in History of Art at the University of Bristol,
having submitted her thesis on The paintings of the Order of St John in Malta: Hospitaller
Art Collections and Patronage from the late fifteenth century to the Eighteenth Century.
Her first degree, B.A. (Gen) with the Faculty of Arts, University of Malta, was in History
of Art and Communication Studies, graduating in 1994. She followed post-graduate studies
with the International Institute of Baroque Studies, and submitted her thesis on The
Baroque Landscape: Representations of Land between the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries in 1999.
‘Virtuous Exchange: Art and Honour among Artist-Knights and Their Patrons in Early
Modern Europe’, at the 60th Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, New York,
March 2014;
‘Picturing Valletta: Aerial Views of the fortified city’, at the Fortification Information
Centre, Valletta, February 2014;
‘A Renaissance Palace in the Making’, at the President’s Palace, Valletta, February 2014;
‘The Magistral Art Collection’, at Din L-Art Helwa, Valletta, November 2013;
‘The Gift of Wings: The arrival of the San Michele Arcangelo altar painting in the Chapel
of Provence’, at St John’s Co-Cathedral, October 2013;
‘Piety and Ritual in the Magistral Palace of The Order of St John in Malta’, at the VIth
International Conference of The Military Orders, St John’s Gate, London, September 2013;
‘Art, Honour and Knighthood: Mattia Preti and his Patrons in Hospitaller Malta’, at the
Italian Cultural Institute, Valletta, June 2013;
‘Auctions and Acquisitions: Sourcing Art in early modern Malta’, for the Malta Historical
Society, April 2013;
‘Art collections and the fashioning of identity’ at the University of Bristol, History of Art
Dept, May 2012;
‘The Imaginative Geography of Hospitaller art collections’, at the University of Bristol
BIRTHA post-graduate conference on Imaginative Geographies: Travels of the Mind in
Early Modern Europe, September 2011;
‘The World in the Artist’s Studio: pictorial practice and the Hospitaller landscape’ at the
REMS, Renaissance and Early Modern Study Group Symposium, University of Bristol,
May 2011
‘At a crossroads: Malta’s modern arts then and now’, at the ICOM-Malta Annual
Conference on Contemporary Art, Architecture and the Moving Image, October 2010;
‘The Palace: A Historic House, a Living Museum, a National Emblem’, for ICOMDEMHist Annual Conference, October 2006;
‘Old Master Drawings at the National Museum of Fine Arts’, Din L-Art Helwa, June 2006;
'An Overview of the Services required in the Heritage Sector', Paper delivered during a
national conference on The Way Forward for the Cultural Heritage Sector, Ministry of
Education, 1999.
Art & Architecture: The Central Bank of Malta, co-authored with Dennis Vella (The
Central Bank of Malta, 2011)
Charles F. de Brocktorff: Watercolours at the National Library of Malta, Vol. II (National
Library of Malta, 2008);
‘A Very Brief History of Art Collecting in Malta’ (forthcoming essay, Fondazzjoni
Patrimonju Malti)
‘The Vedute of Malta at the Malta Chamber’, in La Borsa: The People, the Building, the
History, ed. by Giovanni Bonello (Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry,
Malta, 2013)
‘Picturing the Piazza: A Viewpoint on Valletta’, Treasures of Malta, Easter 2011, Vol. 17
no. 2;
‘A Walk through the Palace in 18th century Valletta’, in Sacra Militia, 9 (Malta, 2010)
‘Michele Bellanti: A Life in Art’, in The Bellanti Family ed. by William Zammit, (Midsea
Books, Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, 2009);
‘Mattia Preti: A Historic Link between Malta and Croatia’, in The Four Evangelists in the
Oeuvre of Mattia Preti ed. by Mara Pustic (Croatia, 2009)
‘Restoration of the High Altar and the Apse of St John’s: problems and solutions’, in Storie
di Restauri nella chiesa Conventual de San Giovanni Battista a La Valletta: La Cappella
di Santa Caterina della Lingua d’Italia e le Committenze del Gran Maestro Gregorio
Carafa, ed. by Sante Guido and Giuseppe Mantella (Midsea Books, 2008)
‘Cultural Identity through Art’, in On Art and Art Education in Malta, ed. by Raphael
Vella (Faculty of Education, University of Malta, 2007)
‘The 1565 Great Siege frescos in the Palace’, in Celebratio Amicitiae: Essays in honour of
Giovanni Bonello, ed. by Maroma Camilleri and T. Vella (Midsea Books, 2006)
‘Insights: Paintings by John Grima’ in Insights, Exhibition Catalogue (Malta, 2005)
‘A country palace on Corradino Hill and a cavern in St George’s Bay, St Julians’,
Treasures of Malta, Christmas 2003, Vol. 12 No. 1;
‘Dialogue with Preti’, in Re-Interpreting Preti: Contemporary Works by Maltese Artists
(National Museum of Fine Arts, 1999)
‘The Balì Raymond Soler: A Portrait by Pedro Nunez de Villavicentio’, Treasures of
Malta, Summer 1998, Vol. 4 No. 3.
‘The Other Side’, in Norbert Attard: Prints and Paintings 1977-1996 (Germany, 1996)
Celebratio Amicitiae: Essays in honour of Giovanni Bonello (Midsea Books/Fondazzjoni
Patrimonju Malti, 2006) Co-editor: Maroma Camilleri
Antoine Camilleri: Pictures in Clay (Heritage Malta, 2006), Author: Dennis Vella
Antonio Sciortino: Monuments and Public Sculpture (National Museum of Fine Arts,
2000), Author: Dennis Vella
The Return of Caravaggio’s ‘The Beheading of the Baptist’ to Malta (National Museum of
Fine Arts, 1999) Authors: Marco Ciatti et al;
Exhibition catalogues
Catalogue entries on Ribera, Pacecco and Stom in Caravaggio and Masters of Realism in
Malta Catalogue (St John’s Foundation, 2007).
‘Drawings by Mattia Preti (1613-1699): Drawings from the National Library and the
National Museum of Fine Arts’, Exhibition Catalogue (Museo Civico di Taverna / National
Library of Malta, 2001).