Napoléon Bourassa (Napoléon Bourassa)

Napoléon Bourassa

Artist, Author, Teacher. Born in Sainte-Marguerite, Quebec, he had extensive schooling for his time. He studied under the Sulpicians in Montreal for eleven years and took 18 months of private lessons with a painter. Bourassa also spent more than three years in Europe further developing his artistic abilities. Early in his career, he worked primarily as an author and teacher. At least three large schools in Montreal employed him to teach their students. Although his passion for painting was grand themes, he had to content himself primarily with portraits. However, in 1867, he was chosen to send a piece to Paris that would be the basis for one that wouldn’t be unveiled until years after he died: “Apothéose de Christophe Colomb.” In 1869, at age 42, he was widowed, and left with five children. Bourassa next turned his attention to architecture and church interiors. He used students to assist with those large projects. Two of those apprentices, François-Édouard Meloche and Louis-Philippe Hébert, achieved fame as artists. Bourassa established a school for sculptors with Hébert and Olindo Gratton. Later in life, Bourassa built two important churches, one in Montebello, Quebec and the other, a large church in Fall River, Massachusetts, the Church of Sainte Anne. He worked on his monumental “Apothéose” until the age of 86, never quite finishing it. Nicholas Bourassa was interred at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montebello, Papineau, Quebec, Canada on August 31, 1916. His burial record, written in French, is unusual in that it, too, was never finished. (bio by: Anne Philbrick)  Family links:  Spouse:  Azélie Papineau Bourassa (1834 – 1869)* *Calculated relationship


  • October, 21, 1827
  • Canada


  • August, 08, 1916
  • Canada


  • Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
  • Quebec
  • Canada

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