The St. Aloysius Chapel, Mangalore - built by the Italian jesuits (1878)

St Aloysius Chapel in
Interior paintings.  St Aloysius Chapel in Mangalore,
Above image:  The St. Aloysius Chapel in Mangalore, Karnataka was  built by the Italian Jesuit Antonio Moscheni in 1884, during the Mangalore Mission (1878). It also goes by the name of St. Aloysius College Chapel. The work was completed in 1878................... 
St. Aloysius Chapel, or the chapel of St. Aloysius College, is a Christian chapel in Mangalore, a west coastal city in the state of Karnataka.   Situated in the heart of the city on the Lighthouse Hill, it was built by Jesuit Missionaries  mostly from Italy in 1880 during the later colonial period under the British Crown. In this part of coastal Karnataka, the  Italian Jesuits played no less role as evangelists in the areas of  education, health, and social welfare of the Mangalorean Catholic community. To cater to the educational needs of the community and others, they built he St. Aloysius College in 1880 and the Chapel in 1884. Besides, the started many institutions.
The St. Aloysius Chapel or  Cappella di San Luigi in Italian is a historic and popular Chapel. What is so unique about this Chapel built by the Italian Jesuits? The interior decoration o this Chapel is just awe-inspiring and literally a visitor will be overwhelmed by the beauty of the paintings done inside with meticulous care and right color combination. It is comparable with the Sistine chapel in Rome. The beautiful painting was done by Antonio Moscheni (1854 –1905), almost covering all interior walls. As far as India is concerned, this is quite unusual to see wall paintings in a Chapel!! Considering its historical value, hardship and painstaking work, the paintings are preserved by a recognised board of the nation which maintains and restores all historic artifacts. As the college and Chapel are dedicated to Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, the paintings depict the various episodes from the life of this great saint, his early childhood and later his demise. The other panels carry the paintings of various saints - St. ThomasSt. Francis of Assisi, St John de Britto and others. There are many paintings that draw many crucial events from his life right from his birth till his death on the cross.

The St Aloysius Chapel in Mangalore,
Here  one can see two types of paintings in the chapel: fresco and canvas.  Normally a fresco is painted on fresh wet lime plaster walls. The colours get embedded in the lime plaster as it dries up. In this Chapel  Frescos cover about 600 square metres of the walls There are oil paintings and in these cases the colours are made by mixing pigments with linseed oil. The painting is done the  canvas made of pure  strong linen woven closely.  As for the paintings on the ceilings in the Chapel (about 400 square metres) they are done  in oil on canvas.
Interior paintings.  St Aloysius Chapel in Mangalore
Many of damaged paintings due to seepage and humidity were restored to old beauty.  The work of restoration was done by specialists of INTACH from 1991 to 1994 under the guidance of Dr O.P.Agrawal.The dust and dirt were removed chemically without damaging the original color. The experts  had to take  special care of some of  the canvases that showed fading of color and worn-out stitches. Care was taken and the canvases were restitched and the joints strengthened. After restitching the canvas on the frame, the paintings were set in the right place.