Esprit Barthet

Bank of Valletta paid tribute to a most renowed Maltese artist - the late Esprit Barthet in the fifth edition of BOV retrospective exhibitions held at the Bank's Head Office Foyer in Sliema. The exhibition was inaugurated by H.E. Prof. Guido de Marco, President of Malta, on Friday 1st June and was open to the public from Saturday 2nd June until Friday 6th July 2001.

Esprit Barthet (1919 - 1999) boasted a long and distinguished career which started when he was still a boy when he attended lessons before World War 2 at the Malta Government School of Art in Valletta. Subsequently, also before the War, he was one of a group of artists who studied art at the Reggia Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. And he completed his art education at the Bath Academy in the UK shortly after he became an art teacher himself.

Barthet is famous for his portraits and still life paintings many of which are in private collections both in Malta and abroad. He also managed to establish himself as one of the pioneers of the modern art idiom in the mid-1950s when he started to experiment with his today famous rooftops paintings.

Throughout his career, Barthet experimented with different styles and techniques but he remained faithful to his initial range of subjects namely portraits, still life and landscapes, though his more recent, constructivist work verged on the abstract. He started exhibiting very early in his career and continued to participate in the most significant collective exhibitions of his time. Over the years he was also prone to show his latest experiments in one-man exhibitions in different places.