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Laura Mattioli Rossi

Italian family of artists, architects and collectors . Pietro Bagatti Valsecchi (b Milan, 15 April 1802; d Milan, 27 Nov 1864) was adopted by Baron Lattanzio Valsecchi and assumed the latter’s surname and inherited his estate. He gained a degree in mathematics and physics but later devoted himself to painting miniatures on ivory, enamel, glass, metal and porcelain, specializing in these techniques in Paris and Geneva. Returning to Milan, he soon gained considerable recognition for such work and took part in major exhibitions. In 1837 he presented a group of works at the Salon in Paris, including a miniature copy on ivory of Francesco Hayez’s Mary Queen of Scots Mounting the Scaffold (1827; Milan, Bagatti Valsecchi Col.) and a copy on porcelain of Francesco Podesti’s Raphael’s Studio (Milan, Bib. Ambrosiana). In 1842 he was made a noble of the Austrian Empire for his artistic achievements, and the Emperor Ferdinand acquired one of his paintings on porcelain, ...

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Yves Lacasse

(b Quebec City, March 10, 1795; d Quebec City, June 21, 1855).

Canadian painter, collector and politician. After studying briefly at the Quebec Seminary, in 1812 he was apprenticed to the painter and glassmaker Moses Perce (fl 1806–48). The sale in Quebec City in 1817 of part of the collection of Louis-Joseph Desjardins (1766–1848), which comprised altogether about 200 European Old Master paintings, had a decisive effect on Légaré’s career. He bought a number, which he cleaned and restored himself, and, as an almost entirely self-taught artist, found them a valuable source of inspiration, technical example and income: many of his early commissions were for large copies of religious pictures from the collection. He painted about 100 religious works but in 1828 won an honorary medal for an original secular composition, the Massacre of the Hurons by the Iroquois (Quebec, Mus. Qué.)

Légaré’s oeuvre (over 250 oils on canvas and on paper) was considerably more diverse and ambitious in subject-matter than that of such contemporaries as Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy, Antoine Plamondon and Théophile Hamel, who favoured portraiture and religious painting. He was the first Canadian-born painter to specialize in landscapes, for example ...