M'luru: New Aloysius Museum dedicated to Br Antonio Moscheni inaugurated

Media Release

Mangaluru, Feb 20: A new gallery dedicated to Br Antonio Moscheni, who had painted SAC Chapel paintings was inaugurated on February 13, 2020. Alberto Pessani, who is a renowned painter from Milan and Antonio Lamera from Stezzano, the home town of Moscheni, who is the custodian of the paintings and sketches of the Moscheni, inaugurated the gallery. They were also joined by Silvana Rizzi grandniece of Antonio Moscheni, Roberta Nepoti, their friend from Milan, Italy. Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ rector of St Aloysius Institutions, Fr Leo D’Souza SJ, the man behind the new St Aloysius College Museum.

The gallery has the self-portrait of Antonio Moscheni, sketches done by him during his studies and pictures of the churches painted by him in India, along with many other paintings.

Fr Leo D’Souza SJ said, “The paintings of the St Aloysius College chapel are internationally known and admired, though the paintings are world-renowned, the painter Antonio Moscheni is very little known even in Mangaluru. There are very few records of his work at St Aloysius College. His paintings do not bear his signature which every artist loves to have on their works. Even his grave in Cochin is not known. It was felt that he certainly deserves a remembrance. That is the background of today’s event”.

Silvana Rizzi spoke and expressed her joy of being associated with St Aloysius College for so many years, and assured to continue her support to St Aloysius Institutions in future too.

Speaking on the occasion rector Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ said, “It was the great spiritual writer, Thomas Merton who said, ‘Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time’. The paintings of Br Moscheni gives us an experience of losing ourselves and finding
ourselves in God. The principles of true art is not to portray but to evoke. Art unites, but to engage in art also means to accept different perspectives”

The programme was meticulously and professionally compered by Shashikiran Nivas research coordinator in applied Biology Lab at St Aloysius College.

About Br Antonio Moscheni

Br Antonio Moscheni was born in a village called Stezzano near Bergamo in Italy on January 17, 1854. His artistic talents were discovered early and he was sent to the famed Academia Carrara in Bergamo. He studied under able masters and soon acquired considerable proficiency in the art of painting. He then went to Rome to study the masterpieces of The Vatican. Fresco painting became his passion.

In 1889 Antonio renounced the prospects of a brilliant career and became religious with the Society of Jesus. Society of Jesus (Jesuits). But his religious superiors did not wish his talent to be buried. They ordered him to paint several churches in his native place as also in Albania and Yugoslavia. They then sent him in 1898 to Mangaluru to paint the Chapel of St Aloysius College. It took him a little over two years to cover the walls and ceiling of the Chapel with frescos and oil paintings. Later he painted the church of St Joseph’s Seminary, the church of Most Holy Saviour, Agrar near Bantwal and the Holy Name Cathedral in Mumbai.

On November 15, 1905, as he was painting a church, Santa Cruz Basilica in Kochi he fell sick and breathed his last. He was buried in the Christian cemetery in Kochi.

St Aloysius College Chapel is the only one which is fully covered by his paintings. These paintings are a treasure not only of the College but are a national treasure. The paintings have become world-renowned and are drawing visitors in large numbers.




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Title : M'luru: New Aloysius Museum dedicated to Br Antonio Moscheni inaugurated


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