Tabibu Farmhouse - Razzett ta Tabibu
Vintage postcards of Maltese scenes one can easily find online. The older they are, the hazier they seem to be and are in black and white before colour technique was invented. Here we find craftsmen patiently colouring these monochrome pictures in bright aniline dyes.
Kartolini antiki b’ritratti ta xeni madwar Malta wiehed jista jsibhom fuq l-internet facilment. Aktar ma tmur ‘lura fiz-zmien, aktar jidhru mcajprin u tibda ssibhom bla kulur ghax it-teknika kienet ghada ma stabitx. Hawn jidhol l-ghaqal ta xi whud illi kienu jizbghu ritratti bl-anelina bil-pacenzja kollha.
When I found a postcard tinted this way, showing a farmhouse in St Paul’s bay with the St Paul’s islands in the background, I decided to paint the scene.
Meta sibt kartolina b’xena kkulurita b’dal-mod, ta razzett San Pawl ‘il Bahar bil-gzejjer ta San Pawl jidhru warajh, fettilli npittirha.
This farmhouse whose remains can still be viewed behind the main road, yielded a fair amount of historical information. It is called ‘Ta Tabibu and seems to be the oldest building standing in St Paul’s bay. It existed way before the Wignacourt tower was thought of because part of this farmhouse was being used as a watch tower by the Maltese militia in the 15th century, that is 200 years before the Wignacourt tower was built by the Knights of St John!
Dan ir-razzett li fdalijiet tieghu ghadhom jistabu wara l-Veccia, sirt naf hafna hwejjeg fuqu. L-ewwelnett isejhulu Ta Tabibu u milli jidher huwa l-aktar bini qadim li ghadu wieqaf San Pawl il-Bahar. Kien jezisti meta anqas biss it-torri ta Wignacourt kien ghadu ma nbena ghax parti minn dan il-bini kien iservi bhala torri, wiehed minn sistema tad-Dejma Maltija fis-seklu 15, jigifieri 200 sena qabel it-torri ta Wignacourt ma gie mibni mill-Kavalieri ta San Gwann!
I studied more than one postcard of this place to really see how it was built, then in one of them I spotted an old bus in the front yard which was obviously an early one. From this, one can easily state that the photo was taken between the 1920’s and 30’s. The same postcard also shows a farmer drinking water from a public fountain (details which I haven’t included in my painting) another detail placing the shot in that era.
Jiena studjajt aktar minn kartolina jew ritratt wiehed biex nara l-binja sewwa, imbaghad rajt illi fost ir-ritratti kien hemm wiehed juri wahda mill-ewwel karozzi tal-linja wieqfa fil-bitha ta quddiem. Minn di jidher li r-ritratt mehud madwar is-snin tal-1920 – 1930. Jidher ukoll rahli jixrob minn ghajn pubbliku (dettalji li ma nkludejthiex fil-pittura tieghi) illi jpoggi r-ritratt f’dik l-era.
I finished the painting in 2010 when by coincidence this place was in the news because of some speculators wanting to level off the farmhouse to build luxury villas in its place close to the shore, like they did not want to leave an inch of ground untouched. That area was already declared Outside of Development Zone and the authorities did well in refusing the application. At least now we still have some antiquity preserved for the future of our children especially for the locals.
Il-pittura lestejtha fis-sena 2010 meta b’kumbinazzjoni kien hemm polemika fuq dan il-post ghax xi spekulaturi riedu jhottu kollox u jwittu dik in-naha biex floku jitla bini lussuz vicin il-bahar, qisu ma ridux ihallu pulzier kwadru vojt. Dawk l-inhawi kienu ilhom barra miz-zona tal-izvilupp u l-awtoritajiet ghamlu sewwa meta cahdu l-applikazzjoni. Talanqas issa ghandna xi haga antika ppreservata ghall-futur ta wliedna specjalment ghan-nies tal-inhawi.