May 2, 2013 ─ Arguably, no body of contemporary sacred artwork in Canada is as significant as that of artist entrepreneur Guido Nincheri (pronounced "ninkeri"). In fact, throughout his career, this Montrealer of Italian origin created or lead the production of over 5000 windows, frescoes, paintings, sculptures, and decorative and furniture pieces. Most of his work served to grace an estimated 200 buildings, the majority of which are churches, across Canada and New England. Testimonies to the quality of his stained glass and other original works, many of these sites have been classified as historic monuments, including the Church of Saint-Léon-de-Westmount, considered to be his chef-d'oeuvre.
Trained at the beginning of the 20th century in drawing, fresco, architecture, and decoration at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, this immensely talented artist is recognized worldwide. His versatility, the realism of his characters (often inspired by members of his own family), the precision of his glass painting technique, the richness of his colours, and his Renaissance-influenced style have often elicited comparisons to the legendary masters of this period—Leonardo, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and others. Some have even designated him as the Michelangelo of Québec. In 1933, he achieved the highest honour of being deemed a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George by Pope Pius XI, who perceived him as one of the greatest ecclesiastical artists.
Today, sacred art enthusiasts can discover and appreciate Guido Nincheri's work at the very place in which he created the majority of his masterpieces—his studio, the oldest extant glass workshop in Québec at 1832 Pie-IX Boulevard, in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district. With a tour guided by none other than his grandson, Roger Nincheri, the studio is just a few blocks away from the splendid Château Dufresne, a mansion entirely decorated by Guido Nincheri and the home of the most important collection of secular pieces by the gifted artist, who left behind a monumental body of work, in both senses of the term.