Les Belles Faveurs de Notre-Dame du Cap by J.C. Cuvelier
'Les Belles Faveurs de Notre-Dame du Cap' (L'Action Catholique, 1 October 1944).

Jean-Jacques Cuvelier was a French-Canadian sculptor and illustrator. Not much is known about his life and career, except that he sculpted several busts for the city of Trois-Rivières and illustrated comic strips for L'Action Catholique during the 1930s.

He was the son of Léonce-Edouard Cuvelier (1874-1959), a French painter, theater set designer and Fine Arts teacher who had been living in Canada since 1911. By 1933, father and son Cuvelier were working together in an atelier in Trois-Rivières, a Québec city at the confluence of the Saint-Maurice and Saint Lawrence rivers. Joined by the architects Ernest Dernoncourt and Ulric J. Asselin, they worked on artistic projects in the preparation of the city's tricentennial celebrations of 1934. Jean-Jacques Cuvelier sculpted busts the city's alleged founder, Laviolette, explorer Pierre Gaultier De Varennes, Sieur de La Vérendrye (1685-1749), journalist Benjamin Sulte (1841-1923) and the Québec politician Maurice Duplessis (1890-1959), among other celebrities from local history. These sculptures were based on drawings by his father, Léonce-E.

Catholic comic strips
In addition to his work as a sculptor, Cuvelier drew several newspaper comic strips, through the Catholic Association of Commercial Travelers Trois-Rivières Section (L'Association Catholique des Voyageurs de Commerce Section des Trois-Rivières). Between 1935 and 1938 the newspaper L'Action Catholique ran eleven adaptations of Québec novels which promoted French-Canadian roots and the Catholic religion. Jean-Jacques Cuvelier illustrated several of them, most notably 'Son Chemin de Damas' by Reverend Alfred-David Emery Curé de Paincourt. It consists of 87 strips, published between 20 May and 20 August 1937. Interesting is that the strip started out as a text comic, like most of the other serials, but eventually switched to speech balloons. The story was also reprinted in Le Devoir, Le Nouvelliste and Ma Gaspésie.

Cuvelier subsequently drew another balloon strip, 'Philippe Beaulieu', based on a story credited to Father Gabriel Sarrazin (7 September through 29 October 1937), as well as a text comic adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper's 'The Last of the Mohicans' ('Le Dernier des Mohicans', 3 November 1937-26 March 1938). 'Philippe Beaulieu' was later published under the title 'Ravisseuse de Bonheur' in Ma Gaspésie (date unknown). Years later, between 18 June 1944 and 18 March 1945, L'Action Catholique published the text comic 'Les Belles Faveurs de Notre-Dame du Cap'. It was another religious story based on Our Lady of the Cape, the local title given to Mary the Mother of God, whose basilica in Trois-Rivières attracts thousands of pilgrims each year. The strip was "published with the permission of the Sanctuary Guardians, Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec", and was credited to "J.-C. Cuvelier", although this was most likely Jean-Jacques Cuvelier.

Jean-Jacques Cuvelier is furthermore known as the illustrator of the 7th volume of the historical book series 'Mon Pays. Histoire du Canada' (La Prairie, Procure des Frères de l'Instruction Chrétienne, 1954) by Guy Laviolette (pen name of Henri Gingras).

Jean-Jacques Cuvelier on the Wikia la BD de Journal au Québec

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