La sacra famiglia al museo
The Oratory Museum is proud to take part in the exhibition Italian Montréal at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum in Montreal. Eleven works from our collection, by artists of Italian origin established in Quebec such as Joseph Guardo, Guido Nincheri, T. Carli and E. Dini & Cie are presented. Here is a glimpse of what you can see between now and January 9, 2022.
The Italians in Canada
The first Italians to come to the Americas were the great explorers of the 15th century. Apart from a few demobilized soldiers in the country, Italian immigration was almost non-existent before the unification of modern Italy, which ended around 1870. This troubled period led many Italians to seek work on the new continent, but their journey was temporary. Starting in the 20th century, a greater number of workers chose to settle with their families in the province of Québec.1
These immigrants generally had expertise in manual trades. In the arts, the presence of Italians helped to fill a labour shortage due to the expansion of parishes in Quebec and the demand for religious statuary. With their unparalleled skills in plasterwork, their expertise ensured the expansion of several family businesses in the country.
In the middle of the 19th century, the Catellis, Baccerini & Co. and T. Carli (Tommaso, commonly called Thomas) were established in Québec. The latter collaborated with and introduced great artists to the profession of statuary such as Charles-Olivier Dauphin, Augustin Buteau, Olindo Graton and even Alfred Laliberté. In the 20th century, Petrucci, Joseph Guardo, Bernardi & Nieri, Barsetti & Frères, etc. also occupied a large part of the market.
Québec museum collections hold many works by these artists of Italian origin. As part of the exhibition Italian Montréal, currently on display at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum in Montréal, eleven works of a religious nature from our collection are on display. To satisfy your curiosity, I present here three works that I particularly appreciate.