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Louis Jobin (1845–1928)

It was late winter 1896, and sculptor Louis Jobin knew there was no going back: his Québec workshop had been completely destroyed by fire. So, he made up his mind to re-settle in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. He had been commissioned to carve several works for the grounds of the basilica there and, in recent years, had devoted his craft increasingly to religious statuary.

Black and white archival photo. Two men are seen standing in front of a building consisting of two sections. A sign above the door on the single-storey part on the left reads “L. JOBIN.” The two-storey section on the right is the home. The man on the left is accompanied by two young children.

Jobin in front of his workshop and home in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, circa 1915


Black and white archival photo. A man leans against the foot of a statue that stands several times his height. The white sculpture of the Virgin Mary has a crown of stars, and her hands are clasped in prayer. The statue is mounted on a pedestal built directly into the rock.

The sculptor and one of his works, Notre-Dame-du-Saguenay

As a young man, he had hoped to make a career for himself carving figureheads. In those early years, the shipbuilding industry had the wind in its sails. By the time he turned 14, he had learned the rudiments of the trade working alongside his uncle, who was a wood carver. He then went on to do a three-year apprenticeship with master wood carver François-Xavier Berlinguet, before leaving to work in New York City. While his talent was undeniable, Jobin was soon forced to accept the fact that the shipbuilding industry was in decline. After spending a number of years in Montreal doing all kinds of carving, including shop signs, to make ends meet, he opened his own workshop in Québec in 1876. Once again, Louis Jobin reinvented himself, adapting to market demands as religious statuary became an increasingly important part of his production.

When his workshop burned to the ground, Jobin decided to pack up and move to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, where he hoped to develop a clientele for religious statues among the congregations, pilgrims, and tourists.

Colour photo of a large wooden sculpture depicting (from left to right) Joseph, Jesus, and Mary. The sculpture is mounted on a pedestal in a dark, ornately decorated chapel.

Holy Family


Colour photo of a large, golden-coloured statue of the Virgin Mary wearing a crown and standing on a dragon, her hands clasped in prayer. Behind the pedestal-mounted statue, a multi-storey building can be seen.

Immaculate Conception


Louis Jobin remained in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré until his death in 1928. Although his trade never made him a wealthy man, he received numerous commissions over the span of his career, and enjoyed an enviable reputation, notably for his large, metal-clad statues. In the words of journalist and novelist Damase Potvin, Louis Jobin was a man who “poured his heart and soul into his chisels and gouge.”

Black and white archival photo. A man sculpts the foot of a large wooden statue in a workshop where drawings and woodworking tools can be seen.

The sculptor in his workshop in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, circa 1925


Today, Château-Richer looks back at… an immensely talented craftsman who created his carvings at his workshop in the neighbouring town of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, shipping the finished sculptures across the province and to points beyond.