The Palace

Entrance Hall

The impression of grandeur in Palazzo Parisio is evident immediately on passing through the great portals. High above are cherubs carrying a banner of salutation bearing the Roman greeting Salve. Four life-size Italian marble statues of Flora, Ceres, Bacchus and Senex extend thier welcome to you upon entering. These 4 figures from Roman Mythology stand in representation of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. 

Entrance Hall at Palazzo Parisio

Through the Hall there is a glimpse of the perspective created by the Palazzo’s delightful walled gardens. Here you can admire the fine Venuti frescoes with a Pompeian flavour. On the large ceiling panel above this is an allegory of Commerce, with Mercury – the “winged messenger” and Roman god of commerce and speed – foremost, and the various trappings that symbolise invention and innovation at the time. Included in the details are the steamships that were a vital lifeline for the island’s business and industry (the Scicluna family was at the forefront in establishing the Maltese merchant shipping fleet). In the middle of the Hall there are bronze busts of Giuseppe Scicluna and of his uncle, Emmanuele Scicluna, the first Maltese banker. Further along the Hall are large urns hand-carved in Maltese limestone. In the past, the Church encouraged many builders to attempt sculpture as corbels, cornices and statues were always in demand for the embellishment of church façades and, indeed, for interiors of grand houses. The same happened with statues that were designed to adorn the gardens. Maltese artisans and craftsmen rose to the challenge admirably.

On the walls hang two splendid portraits by one of Malta’s most eminent artists, Edward Caruana Dingli (1876-1950), whose work is well represented in the Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta and whose large portrait of King George V hangs at the Museum of the Venerable Order of St John, in Clerkenwell, London. His delightful depiction of Violette, Marchesa Scicluna, née Testaferrata Moroni Viani, the 8th Baroness of Tabria, was painted when she represented Malta’s nobility at the coronation of King George VI in London in May 1937. The other portrait, also by Caruana Dingli, is of her daughter, Corinne Scicluna, grand-daughter of Giuseppe and currently joint owner of the Palazzo.

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