Colour sketch of Ettore Sanguiro by Vincenzo Poggi, 1940
This colour sketch of Ettore Sanguiro was created by fellow internee Vincenzo Poggi in Petawawa Internment Camp. The lower right hand of the drawing features the artist's signature followed by the personal note, "al caro E. Sanguiro, August 1940."
Ettore Sanguiro was born on March 25, 1891. In 1923, Sanguiro came to Canada and seven years later, his wife, Luisa, followed with their eight-year-old daughter, Cesarina. Their second child, Rosemarie, was born in 1933. The family residence lived at 557 Cannon Street East in Hamilton. Sanguiro was arrested on June 10, 1940. It was horrifying for the family, but especially for Rosemarie who was only seven at the time. She remembers how three Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers disrupted the family dinner by kicking in the front, side, and back doors to their humble home. After his brief detention in Toronto, Sanguiro was sent to Petawawa Internment Camp; his family did not see him again until his release in 1942.
Vincenzo Poggi was an artist. In 1929, Poggi arrived in Montreal for a six-month contract to work for Guido Nincheri’s (also interned) stained glass studio in Montreal. At the end of his contract, Poggi decided to stay in Canada. He continued to work for Nincheri until 1940, when he was interned. Poggi began his artistic career as a portrait painter, but he found it nerve-racking to paint while trying to maintain a conversation with the sitter. He eventually switched to stained glass windows. Poggi created a number of paintings and sketches of fellow internees and of the camp while he was interned, many of which are now housed at the Canadian War Museum. He also taught his fellow internees to paint during his internment. Fellow internees and artists Guido Nincheri and Guido Casini did charcoal sketches of fellow internees while interned at Camp Petawawa.