From my reading about the Schranz Family of Artists I have learned that there were at least 8 painters in the family across four generations. We met the first painter in the family Anton Schranz in the last blog and I now know he was German by birth, studied painting in Italy and ended up in Menorca, married a Hispano-English wife Isabella Howard Tudurí and after 24 years in Menorca moved to live in Malta.

We also met his son Giovanni in the last blog. Anton’s other two sons Antonio and Giuseppe were also painters as was his daughter Maria Ana. All of the children were taught to paint by their father. A direct descendant of Giovanni’s a John Schranz has written many articles on the family and I have endeavoured to tease out some highlights for us. Because the family travelled extensively back and forth across the Mediterranean, painting, photographing, making lithographs, their main contribution, in my opinion, is as a record of historical events that were happening all around them. Here are a few highlights from my research.

Malta Harbour painted about 1800-76. First recorded at Buckingham Palace, June 1876

Anton's son Giovanni Schranz set up a highly sophisticated lithographic studio with his brother Antonio and I believe he also ran a painting school. Giovanni's major clients were British naval officers wanting paintings of maritime subjects and works as topographical souvenirs. Some of his works were included in the London Exhibitions of 1851 and 1886 and the Paris Exhibition of 1867.

*The building at left by the garlanded landing jetty flies the Greek revolutionary blue-on-white cross of the 1820s and foreground figures are shown in Greek dress.  (Ref:http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/12641.html)

To quote John Schranz from the Time Malta (Sunday, May 28, 2017) from his article Antonio Schranz and the Travelling Artists’ Grecian Ideal: It is this picture of scavenging and dour determination that Antonio’s Grecian works present. No utopia. No clarion call to arms. No tourist attractors. They testify to huma­nity’s grim perseverance.

Maria Ana Schranz their sister painted miniatures and also followed in her father’s steps by teaching. Marianna gave painting lessons to ladies in her studio at 340 St Paul Street, Valletta. Sadly I was not able to find any images of her works but this is a photograph of the street where she had her gallery - fourth door from the right.  

(Ref: The Schranz bottega… and its ‘in-house product’ by John Schranz. Malta Times, Sunday, December 17, 2017)

(Ref: The Schranz bottega… and its ‘in-house product’ by John Schranz. Malta Times, Sunday, December 17, 2017)

(Ref: The Schranz bottega… and its ‘in-house product’ by John Schranz. Malta Times, Sunday, December 17, 2017)

The Hero Image today is HMS Trafalgar at the entrance to the Grand Harbour, painted by Giovanni Schranz.

And so we must leave Malta for new vistas. I'll be back after a couple of days rest.