Hidden Histories: Santa Cruz Basilica’s Italian Artist

By Priyadershini S.
Fra Antonio Moscheni's works in Santa Cruz Basilica, Fort Kochi.
INDIA---On a clear summer’s day in July last year, Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Francis M.J. Fernandez stood knocking at the doors of the Accademia Carrara of Bergamo in the Alpine Valley in Italy. He was on a quest to learn about an alumnus Fra Antonio Moscheni, the artist whose works adorn the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica in Fort Kochi. After Fr. Francis took over in 2011 as parish priest there, it was the paintings – a series on the crucifixion of Christ, The Last Supper, frescoes on pillars, arches and walls, the angelic cherubs – that mesmerised him daily. He wished to gather information about the artist, his life, his journey to India and his paintings in the Basilica in the years between 1903-1905. [link]