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Mural ARTS

Kottayam Cheriapally - A treasure trove of mural art

Built in the Portuguese-Baroque-Keralite style, the church is a treasure trove of mural art. The extravagant collection of mural paintings at the altar of Cheriapally has been termed as a major breakthrough in the history of mural paintings throughout the world. The striking mural art on the church interiors depicts the major incidents in Jesus Christ's life. The eastern side of the church wall portrays the major happenings in the life of the Lord's mother. Some of the paintings depict the trial of Christ, Crucifixion, and Christ being taken down from the cross. The ceiling with 99 tiles is adorned with various paintings. Historians said that these were painted by foreign artists. Interestingly, the clothes worn by the people in the paintings are also European in style. Thought the paintings are in European style, some experts claim the technique used is that of artists from Kerala. All the paintings have been created by only using organic dyes from vegetables and flowers. The red colour seen in the paintings are drawn using Red brick. People from different countries visit the church to study these paintings. Several of the wall paintings had faded with the passage of time. The centuries-old mural paintings have been restored to their former glory by mural painting artist V.M. Jiju Lal and team after a hard work for three months. The rare paintings, which are believed to be more than 300 years old, atthe holy sanctuary (madhaba) of the church were brought back without losing on their aesthetic quality. The consecration of the holy sanctuary (madhaba) after mural painting restoration was done on January 11, 2020