Francesco Iacurto (1908 – 2001)

Born in Montreal on September 1st 1908, Iacurto showed his remarkable ability for drawing very early on. At the age of thirteen, he exhibited his work at the Monument National. He studied drawing under the tutoring of Edmond Dionet in 1922. At fourteen, he became the youngest student at the Montreal School of Fine Arts which opened its doors in 1923. While attending the school, he met Jean-Paul Lemieux and graduated with Paul-Émile Borduas and Sylvia Daoust. As early as 1927, Iacurto won several awards and obtained his teaching degree in 1928. In 1929, he received a grant to study in Paris. In 1938, Iacurto moved to Quebec City and began working on a series of portraits. He travelled to France in 1953, in Italy in 1956 and in Greece in 1964. Between 1965 and 1974, Iacurto taught painting and was elected member of the Canadian Royal Academy. In 1974, he devoted himself to his work and Professor Maurice Lebel paid him homage in his book, with a preface signed by Robert Choquette. In 1988, upon celebrating his 80th birthday, a drawing retrospective entitled ″Visages Intimes″ was held at Université Laval. In 1990, he was made Knight of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy and presided in 1991 at the Painting Symposium of the Quebec Carnaval. At the same time, the Villa Bagatelle of Sillery presented a retrospective of Iacurto’s work which presented close to 40 oils, pastels, pencils drawings, red chalk drawings and watercolors created between 1922 and 1990. Many of Iacurto’s pieces are eloquent testaments to the spirit of Quebec City; before it was transformed into an urban centre. His work can be seen at the Museum of Quebec, the National Gallery in Ottawa, the Canadian Senate, the Quebec Parliament, the Old Seminary of Quebec City, the Citadelle, Quebec City Hall and Université Laval.