President’s official painted portrait unveiled

Artist Philippa Bianchi, great-grand daughter to famous painter Giuseppi Cali, delivers an impressive painted portrait of President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca

4 February 2017, 12:42pm
The President is represented seated beside a desk, illuminated by a warm light emanating from a nearby lamp
The President is represented seated beside a desk, illuminated by a warm light emanating from a nearby lamp
The Office of the President has unveiled the painted portrait of President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, executed by artist Philippa Bianchi.

The portrait, measuring 150cm x 115cm, was hung in the President’s Palace, Valletta in anticipation of Republic Day celebrations last December.

The President is represented seated beside a desk, illuminated by a warm light emanating from a nearby lamp.

The first sitting and studies for the pose took place at San Anton Palace, in Attard, whilst the painting was executed at the artist’s studio in Burmarrad.

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca as painted by artist Philippa Bianchi
President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca as painted by artist Philippa Bianchi
Bianchi’s work pays homage to the tradition of realist portrait painting, of which she is one of Malta’s leading exponents. 

Her paintings capture both the physical likeness of her sitters, as well as their personality and temperament. The characteristics that guided the artist’s portrait of President Coleiro Preca were the President’s ‘warmth, strength and dedication to hard work.’ Philippa’s style is marked by strong painterly qualities that combine beautifully controlled brushwork with areas of spontaneous execution.  

Bianchi has an impressive international portfolio of major portraits. Selected works include Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Paul Cremona, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Princess Adelheid and Princess Teresa von Liechtenstein, Professor Nasser David Khalili, philanthropist and art collector, Lady Natalie Milbank, and Mr Alfred Pisani, Chairman of the Corinthia Group.

Born in 1982, great-grand daughter to famous painter Giuseppi Cali, Bianchi obtained her degree in art from Central St. Martin’s College of Art in London and furthered her studies in atelier painting in Florence. She has lived in several countries painting portraits for a living. Her personal inspiration stems from Caravaggio, Agnolo Bronzino, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

The painting now hangs alongside the other portraits of Malta’s Presidents in the dining hall at The Palace, Valletta.