by: Katelyn Piotto, University of Calgary

In Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Parish (formerly Our Lady of Grace Italian/English Catholic Church), there exist beautiful pieces of Italian heritage that are displayed in the form of art. The artwork in the church, represent stories of the life of Christ, which is of significant religious and cultural value to the parishioners. The two world-renowned Italian artists responsible for these artworks are Antonio Caruso and Trento Longaretti.

Trento Longaretti

The painting of The Last Supper (PICTURED ABOVE) was created by the world-renowned Italian painter Trento Longaretti. Longaretti was born in Treviglio, Italy in 1916 and studied art in the province of Lombardi, Bergamo.

Longaretti is famous for his modern and contemporary style of painting. His religious works of art are among his most important works of which some are displayed in the Vatican City.

Longaretti’s The Last Supper is a Fresco, which was commissioned and painted on a canvas in Italy in the early 1970’s, carefully rolled up and shipped to St. Andrew�s Italian Church in Calgary. Longaretti personally came to Calgary with his paintings, stretched them onto frames and repaired any damage that was done during the transportation. Years later, this large painting was carefully moved as one big panel to the new Our Lady of Grace Church (1985).

The Fresco technique involves placing a thin layer of plaster onto a canvas and immediately painting into the plaster so that the paint is absorbed and dries quickly. Trento Longaretti currently resides in his hometown of Bergamo at the age of 96.

Antonio Caruso

Antonio Caruso was born in Serra San Bruno, Calabria. He attended the Carrera Academy in Bergamo, Lombardi, Italy and had the opportunity to study under Trento Longaretti.

Caruso along with his son and assistant, Angelo Demis, painted the six paintings surrounding the walls of Our Lady of Grace Italian/ English Catholic Church while visiting Calgary in the early 1990’s.

Click on the gallery below to view Caruso’s artwork up close!

The technique created and used by Caruso is called Frescografia. This style involves taking colours and dissolving them in water in order to form a light film on the wood panel. The colour then penetrates into the wood grain, keeping all of the veins of the wood visible in its natural beauty. Caruso then adds an oil-based paint as a final protective coat and varnish.

Caruso has established a world renowned status and his paintings and sculptures are displayed in various countries around the world including Canada, the United States, Italy and France. Pictures of Caruso�s sculptures are displayed annually on Canada Post stamps during the Christmas season. Caruso currently resides with his family in Toronto, Canada.

To download a brochure in English by Katelyn, click here > Italian Artists of Our Lady of Grace (English Version)

To download a brochure in Italian by Katelyn click here > Italian Artists of Our Lady of Grace (Italian Version)