(1827–1916). Better known today as the father of Henri Bourassa, the influential politician and founder of Le Devoir, Napoléon Bourassa was an important figure in the cultural life of late nineteenth-century French Montreal. Abandoning legal studies, he trained as an artist under Théophile Hamel before studying in Europe. After his return he painted, taught, and gave public lectures on art; portraiture and ecclesiastical art appear to have been his specialties. In 1872 he moved from the mural decoration of churches to the actual architectural design of these buildings, combining both activities for the remainder of his active life.
From The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature in Oxford Reference.