This bicentenary exhibition pays tribute to the artistic legacy of the Schranz family since its arrival in British-occupied Malta in 1818. Theirs was quite a chequered story marked mainly by relocation and travel driven by urgency, wanderlust and artistic impulse. Starting with a broad portrait of this closely-knit family sets the scene for their origins, where and how they flourished, and why they developed and branched out into artistic fields as they each reacted to the demands of their milieu.
Minorca, Malta, various regions of the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Near East, the Middle East and the Peloponnese are captured on canvas, paper, lithographs, travelogue illustrations and even photographs. This vast repertoire represents Anton and his sons, Giovanni, Antonio and Giuseppe, the most renowned artists of the family. Presenting their competencies and styles, this exhibition enables us to view their individual talents, but it also surprises us with some barely familiar aspects of their enterprise and output, such as Anton’s portraiture, Giovanni’s Romantic tendencies, Antonio’s photography and confident brush with Realism, and Giuseppe’s highly sensitive chromatic symphonies.
For the very first time, we are introduced to other artist-members of the Schranz family: Maria Ana, Margarita, Francisca, Angelica Quintana, Melita, Rinaldo, Constantino and Ida Camilleri. Their coming to light, albeit through very few works, expands the Schranz family to four generations of twelve artists spanning just over a hundred years. The journey to revisit as well as to rediscover the Schranz artists is, in truth, for the visitor a special exhibition to embark upon.