Unique opportunity to view St John tapestries

For the first time since 1990 and following 16 years of complex and meticulous restoration, the public can once again lay their eyes on Grand Master Perellos’s iconic set of tapestries. But hurry as this isn’t a permanent exhibition!
Pope John Paul II’s visit to Malta in 1990 was the last occasion the tapestries were on public view. Photo: DOI

Are you ready to be blown away by one of Malta’s most important and stunning artistic treasures? The St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation recently announced that its set of majestic, 17th-century tapestries will once again go on display within the Main Nave of St John’s Co-Cathedral. Running until June 24, 2023, this will be the first time the public can view them since Pope John Paul II’s visit to Malta in 1990.

Depicting the Triumph of the Roman Catholic Church and scenes from the life of Christ and the 12 Apostles, this set of 29 tapestries was commissioned by Grand Master Ramon y Perellos upon his election in 1697. They are based on cartoons by renowned Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens and were woven from wool and pure silk in Brussels by the weaver Judocus De Vos.

These are true masterpieces of European art and are just back from a complex restoration process funded by the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation. During the restoration, which took 16 years for a team of experts from the De Wit Royal Manufacturers in Belgium to complete, the tapestries were cleaned, repaired, and restored to their former glory, with their vibrant colours once again inspiring awe in all those who see them.

This is a rare opportunity for visitors to see these magnificent tapestries and appreciate their original beauty, as well as their historical and religious significance. In fact, the exhibition is sure to attract art enthusiasts from all over the world and will undoubtedly be a highlight of the cultural calendar in Malta. 

Buy your tickets directly from St John’s Co-Cathedral’s website. For other Pink magazine features check out this piece about Maltease burlesque, or this interview with vintage fashion collector Rowena Farrugia.

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