The life of Guido Nincheri Canada's Michelangelo
Canada's Michelangelo - The life of Guido Nincheri
"I'm tired of people coming back from Europe and telling me how beautiful the churches are. We've forgotten what we've got here." mac1996 Between 1915 and 1973 the Italian-Canadian painter Guido Nincheri devoted his life to producing stained glass windows and frescoes for more than one hundred churches across North America. Although honoured in Montreal's three hundred and fiftieth anniversary as a builder of the city, few Canadians know of the identity of this craftsman. The purpose of this paper is to uncover the story of this unrecognized artist and evaluate the significance of his contributions to Canadian society.
Born in Tuscan, in the small town of Prato, in Italy, on Sept. 29th ,1885, Guido Nincheri was born to a wealthy textile broker, Pretro, and his wife, Maria. Nincheri, inspired by his passion for the arts, decided not to maintain his father's textile company and left Prato when he was eighteen to study architectural design and art composition. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in Florence, he continued to do post-graduate work from 1908 to 1912. In his years of post-graduate work he was commissioned to do several murals in the Palazzo Nanni and in the salon of Marco Vecciho. He received recognition, by these commissions, and won numerous medals in competitions for architectural design and artistic compositions. On April 21st ,1913,Guido married his wife Giulia, in Florence. In December of that year, Guido and Giulia decided to take their honeymoon in Argentina, only to be stranded in Boston because of the outbreak of World War One. With no way to return home Guido turned to French Canadian Montreal. In Montreal he quickly landed a job as a stage prop painter in the renowned opera house Chateau Dufresne. The opera house still stands at the corner of Berbooke St. E and Pie IX Blvd. While working at the opera house in 1926, Nincheri attempted his first fresco painting at the Chapel Socurs Des Noms de Jesus et Marie and agreed to defer his fee there, for two years . In this fresco Guido depicted one hundred and twenty well-known biblical stories. His excellent craftsmanship eventually led to him being recommended by the clergy in various parishes and he soon was being shuttled back and forth between Montreal and small towns throughout Quebec, during the 1920's.
By portraying these biblical stories through...