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Sodom

Italia 
1477−1549
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Sienese painter of the High Renaissance. His activity in Siena, documented from 1501. He studied with Giovanni Spanzotti, a strong influence of which is noticeable in the early works of the artist, including the first large order of the master - the frescoes of the monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Paintings on the life of St. Benedict was begun Signorelli (1497 - 1499). He sang ten songs, and the rest twenty nine wrote of Sodom (1505-1508). In these frescoes of Sodom has depicted himself surrounded by animals and birds, which, according to Vasari, everywhere accompanied by the artist. From 1508 the master worked in Rome. In the works of the Roman period and later, he borrowed separate background elements, mainly architectural, of Raphael and Bramante. The artist is credited with painting the Central octagon on the ceiling Stanzas della senyatura in the Vatican. One of the major works of the artist began painting in the bedroom in the Villa Farnesina with scenes from the life of Alexander the Great.

Giovanni Antonio came from a family of shoemaker from Briangate named Giacomo di Antonio dei Bazzi, which by 1475 moved to the town of Vercelli (Piedmont), and in 1476 he married a angelina from Bergamo. They had three children, two sons Giovanni, Antonio and Niccolo, the daughter of Amadeus. The future artist was the eldest among the children, Bazzi, he was born in 1477, in 1490 enrolled in training to the Piedmontese painter Giovanni Martino Spanzotti. In the notarial archives of Vercelli preserved the agreement of 20 November 1490 that of Sodom, Giacomo Bazzi, signed by the artist Giovanni Spanzotti that he will teach his son all kinds of painting, including glass and wood for seven years. Together with Spanzotti of Sodom lived for some time in Milan, where he came under the influence of Leonardo da Vinci, although exact evidence of their contact does not exist. About 1501, the artist is in Siena.

Vasari reports that Siena Sodom arrived at the invitation of the merchants of the family Sanocki. However, any documents that the family Sanocki did Sodom orders for paintings have not survived. However, this could happen because after the death of Pope Pius III, Sanocki went bankrupt, and was even forced to sell his Palace of Pandolfo Petrucci. There is, however, a document dated March 13, 1499, in which a "Bartolomeus de olim Ghilielmi Bazio de Quirino" received an inheritance from her deceased brother via Niccolo, Antonio and Giulio Spannocchi. This Niccolo was in the manor of the family Sanocki in Rome, and if specified in the document "de Bazio" and Sodom are one and the same person, the artist Siena could visit in Rome. Arriving in Siena, Sodoma received the first large prestigious orders. In 1508 he finished the frescoes, started in 1497 by Luca Signorelli in the monastery of Monte Oliveto, which is located on the way from Siena to Rome. Vasari describes the scandal associated with these frescoes — they were devoted to scenes from the life of St. Benedict of Nursia. In one scene, St. Benedict, trying to restore order in the monastery entrusted to him, shooing courtesans, sent by the monk Florentius for the abuse of his brethren. According to Vasari, Sodoma painted these women naked, to the dismay of the monks and indignation of the leadership of the monastery. Courtesans had to dress, although in this case, it seems that Sodom just strictly followed the canonical description of the life of St. Benedict. On the other hand, in thirty years, he hardly didn't know what kind of reaction can cause in the men's monastery of image of naked women.

Paolo Giovio, amounted in the years 1523-27 "Life of Raphael" reports about Sodom that he has "absurd and changeable, crazy thinking." Nevertheless, Giovio says it is "the heir of Raphael," and it demonstrates the high respect and esteem in which the artist had among his contemporaries. However, the main source that reflects the character of the master, is the life of Sodom, compiled by Giorgio Vasari (1568). Around version described by this author, there were many discussions. Some researchers believe that Vasari almost all of the rights, others argue that discrediting the artist composed the history of his opponent and former pupil of Domenico beccafumi, Vasari and uncritically retold them.

A self-portrait of Sodom in the mural "the miracle of the sieve." 1505-8гг, Monte Oliveto Maggiore. At his feet you can see two badgers and crow.

Vasari describes Giovanni Antonio as a "madman" and "the beast". He believed that the artist did not seek to communicate with people wise and worthy, but instead "...were kept at home all kinds of strange animals: badgers, squirrels, monkeys, marmosets, dwarf donkeys, horses, Barbary prize trotters, little horses from Elba, jays, dwarf chickens, Indian turtles and other similar kinds of animals... Except all those beasts was his Raven, which he taught to speak, and often mimicked the voice of Giovanni Antonio... and likewise all the other animals were tame enough that constantly followed him around the house, playing the strangest games and making the wildest sounds, which are only in the world...". In short, Giovanni Antonio liked to communicate with animals, it gave him pleasure, and animals loved him. The words of Vasari partially confirmed by the fresco "the miracle of the sieve" in the monastery of Monte Oliveto, in which Sodom wrote his portrait. At his feet you can see two badgers manual, and probably the crow, who spoke in his voice.

Around the nickname "Sodom" also there were many discussions and assumptions. There is an opinion that originally his family name or nickname was "Sedona" (sometimes he used to sign paintings), which then transformed into "Sodom". However, it makes little difference in the eccentric character of the artist, which, judging by the descriptions of Vasari, gladly accepted the nickname Sodom and hint at sodomy. And not just accepted, but flaunt it in order to shock respectable audience. Giovanni Antonio addicted to horse races — the Siena Palio. Preserved documents showing that he participated in the Palio and acquired for these purposes horses expensive. According to Vasari, once, while staying Giovanni Antonio of Florence, his horse won the race. In accordance with the rules, the name of the owner of the winner it was necessary to loudly shout when awarding the prize. Giovanni Antonio asked him what name to shout, he replied: "of Sodom." And screamed. "However, on hearing such a dirty name, some pious elders began to make noise and say, "What a pig is, what a shame to announce our city such a shameful name?" — writes Vasari.

In Vasari's description of Sodom appears extravagant and extraordinary man, who loved the Siena youth: "...most of the Siena boys ran after Sodoma, praising him as an extraordinary man". To this we must add that Giovanni Antonio had composed songs obscene, and had a habit of singing their own accompaniment. Vasari writes that the nickname "Sodoma," the artist was for the fact that "... always and talked and lived with beardless youths." However, this is in large measure refuted by the fact that in October 1510 the artist married Beatrice di Luca Galli, daughter of a prosperous entrepreneur Luke Galli. Beatrice was married, bringing as a dowry from his own house, in 1511, gave birth to a son, named Apelles, the godfather of which was the artist Girolamo jenga. However, the boy in infancy, died; the following year the wife gave birth to a daughter Faustina, who later married the painter Bartolomeo neroni, known as Riccio, a former student of her father. The eccentric antics of Sodom, probably helped him gain respect and patrons among the nobility and wealthy entrepreneurs. Among these was Agostino Chigi, a philanthropist and banker, lend money to popes. Apparently Chigi loved the unusual and talented people; thanks to him of Sodom entered into friendly relations with Pietro Aretino, and received prestigious orders. Among the admirers of his talent was the Prince of Piombino, Pope Leo X, enthusiastically accepted the picture of Sodom with a picture of Lucretia, and complaining to the artist knighted "Cavaliere di Cristo", as well as Emperor Charles V, who gave the artist the title of count (count Palatine).

Sodom was not rich, and he, apparently, could not successfully invest the royalties into real estate, as did some of the prosperous artists of the Renaissance. His Hobbies were eccentricities and horse racing, and horses cost a lot of money (at the end of the XV century, a simple house is worth 100-200 florins, "improved design" that is a stone box, three stories on a city block, 300-400 florins, and a good riding horse 70-85 florins). In 1531 he for himself was a comic list for taxation of their property. It was listed in either the garden, or farm in Fonte Nuova, a house in the neighborhood, Vallerozzi, and eight horses. The next items on the list was monkey, crow, peacock, owl, and "the three evil beast, whom are three women." In 1534 he bought another house but in 1537 the house and the garden had gone out of his hands.

Vasari writes that "... the wife soon tired of him, and because he was a jerk, he always refused it, and she lived in the solitude of his own works...", but the documents from 1531, and 1541 suggests that, at least, in the years of Sodom and his wife lived together. Vasari also reports that in old age he was afflicted, poor and decrepit and ill, ended up in hospital at the age of 75и years in 1554, however, check his message only partially. Sodom died in Siena, on 15 February 1549 at the age of seventy-two years of age — this date is known from a letter dated 15 February 1549, Alessandro sent Buoninsegni his brother Bernardino, who served as Ambassador in Naples — " ... Cavaliere of Sodom died last night." The posthumous inventory from 1549 reports remaining in his Studio a small number of paintings, "antique", and personal belongings of the artist. The early work of the artist remains unknown; his works created before moving to Florence, have not survived. The first major work of Sodom are the frescoes in the refectory of the monastery of St. livescore. Anna in Camprena near Siena. According to the contract signed with the monastery of fra Andrea Cossa, work was begun in 1503 and completed in June, 1504. The contract contained a short instruction regarding the iconographic program and the placement of individual scenes. Some of the monks of Sodom portrayed del proprio, that is painted from nature. On the wall opposite the entrance, the artist has depicted the "Miracle of the loaves and fishes" opposite this mural is "Pieta" (Pieta), left "the Confirmation of the Order of Oliveto" (according to another version — "SV. Benedict with the monks"), and on the right "Saint Anna with the virgin and two repetskii monks." In other places it is in a monochrome technique depicted "scenes from the life of St. Anna", and a frieze with grotesques. These murals give an idea about which school the artist was in Milan. For example, in the fresco "Pieta" shows the attention the artist paid to the gestures of characters and the expression on their faces. It is evidence of the impact of Leonardo da Vinci, who believed that "gestures best convey the state of mind". The next big job were the frescoes in the monastery of Monte Oliveto, which was created shortly after completion of the work in the monastery of Santa Anna. Today they are the largest and most famous fresco cycle by Sodoma. The artist began work in 1505, and worked there until 1508. At least, in two frescoes, the researchers perceive the influence of the "Battle of Anghiari" by Leonardo da Vinci, which has obviously served as inspiration for such scenes as the "SV. Benedict takes the Roman boys moor and Placidia" and "St. Benedict foretells the destruction of Montecassino". The last shows a group of soldiers with a few comical faces. In this composition scholars see the influence of Raphael. Raphael the idea with soldiers of Sodom is echoed in the painting "the descent from the cross" (Pinacoteca, Siena), which was created for the altar of the family, Chiozzi in the Sienese Church of San Francesco. The style of the work differs significantly from that of the frescoes in the monasteries of Santa Ana and Monte Oliveto; this led to the suggestion that the picture was painted after the completion of the frescoes in the two monasteries, that is, after 1508, despite the fact that the preserved document dated 1502, in which the customer, Gherardo, Chiozzi, expresses the desire to begin work on the creation of the altar.

During the work on the frescoes in the two monasteries of Sodom has written several mythological and historical subjects in the Siena Palace of Sigismondo Chigi (scenes from the Metamorphoses of Ovid, and scenes from the life of Julius Caesar). In 1508, the artist went to Rome. According to Vasari, from Siena brought him there philanthropist and papal Treasurer, Agostino Chigi. Sodom was tasked with painting the papal chambers, stanza della senyatura. He painted grotesques and ornaments in the vault of a room, but a large composition on the wall did not like Pope Julius II, he ordered her down, removed the artist from works, and ordered that his place was taken by Raphael. It's hard to say what the relationships are then developed at Sodom with Rafael, however, last in his fresco "the school of Athens" was written jointly with Sodoma's portrait. After this failure, he returned to Siena, but later returned to Rome, as Agostino Chigi invited him to work in his Palace, now known as Villa Farnesina. Villa Farnesina was built in 1505 – 6 years outside of Rome, in front of his city gate and the hill Gianicolo by order of Agostino Chigi as his country residence. Feasts and festivities arranged in his rural Villa of the banker Chigi, during his lifetime has many legends. In the works of poets gardens of the Villa Farnesina and the building itself was famous as the new home of the gods and muses. The building was designed by Baldassare Peruzzi, and its inner chambers painted by the best artists of the era, Peruzzi, Raphael, Sodoma and Sebastiano del Piombo. Sodoma painted a bedroom in this Palace with frescoes with scenes from the life of Alexander the great, among which is a scene depicting the wedding of Alexander and Roxana, thanks to her, the room now called the Stanza delle Nozze di Alessandro e Rossane (Room of marriage of Alexander and Roxana). Bedroom directly adjacent to the Banquet hall, which was later painted by Baldassare Peruzzi,. A total of Sodom wrote here three frescoes: "the Marriage of Alexander and Roxana", "the Family of Darius before Alexander", "Battle". The fourth fresco of "Alexander and Bucephalus" researchers now believe the work of Sodoma. Supposedly its made by someone close to the artists, quite successfully imitating his style.

From the writings of Lucian it is known that in ancient times there was a painting of Ethion dedicated to the wedding of Alexander and Roxana. It was a picture, as Alexander holds out the crown of Roxana, seated on the marriage bed, and on the sides of it are the Parthenon and the patron God of marriage Hymen, while cupids play with the weapons of Alexander. Apparently, the artists in the Villa Farnesina tried to emulate or surpass this ancient pattern. Interestingly, the original Chigi wanted to give the order for painting the room to Rafael, who prepared the drawings (one of them is kept in the Albertina), but Sodom and this time were successful. However, in this mural Sodom, you can see the influence of Raphael, the figure of a maid holding a jug on her head, obviously borrowed from Raphael's "the Fire in Borgo", is written in the "stanza del Incendio" the Vatican Palace.

In front of the mural "the Marriage of Alexander and Roxana" previously stood in a luxury box Agostino Chigi, as if descended from the composition. All the paintings of the Villa Farnesina were designed to draw Parallels between the heroes of ancient times, and sublimity of the life of the banker Chigi, feel a kind of "new Alexander". On the right wall of the bedroom of Sodom depicted in the mural "the Family of Darius before Alexander". Her mother killed Darius Sisygambis Alexander mistakenly takes for his friend hephaestion, at the time of the true Lord graciously bowed before her. Standing on the left daughter of Darius is depicted with Raphael grace. At the base of Sodom he wrote of the Volcano, hammering at his forge the arrow of Cupid, and Cupid, searching arrows. These works date to the years 1516-17 (though there are other Dating).

During his stay in Rome, Sodom wrote one of his most famous paintings, "Lucretia" (Budapest, Museum of Art). Tragic story with a half-naked Lucretia, ravished and stabbed himself with a dagger below the blood to wash away their shame, liked to Pope Leo X that Sodom was awarded a large sum of money and a knighthood (Cavalliere di Cristo). The picture was glorified by a series of epigrams, written Aurelio'ascoli (Aurelio Ascolano). Subsequently, the artist returned to this subject, and today the painting "Lucretia" exists in four variants. This work in particular gives an idea of how different the stay of Sodom preserved in ancient ancient Rome from staying in a devout Siena: the right of Lucretia depicts a character whose appearance was redeemed from the colossal statue of "Versailles Jupiter" (the statue was found at the Villa of cardinal Francesco Armellini). Later, the artist repeatedly included this trait in his paintings. Several documents of this period reported that in 1515, the artist visited in Florence, and that he was bound by orders from Jacopo d Appiano, Lord of Piombino, and Alfonso I d'este, Duke of Ferrara, for whom Sodoma painted "SV. George and the dragon" (1518 Washington, national gallery). Preserved the letter of 3 may 1518 the artist wrote of Alfonso I; in it he says that the order for the creation of the work was given to him by the Ambassador of the Duke at the court of Pope Leo X, when Sodom was in Rome. Sodom is depicted St. George with a spear, riding on horse, fierce appearance which looks more intimidating than the prostrate dragon; to his right, saved the Princess Cleodolinda in strong excitement raised his eyes, and in the sky the Lord sent an angel blesses the event.

В1518 year Giovanni Antonio returned to Arezzo. There he writes frescoes with scenes of the lives of Mary in the oratory of St. Bernardin of Siena — "the Introduction of Mary into the temple", "Visits to St. Elizabeth", "heavenly wedding" and "assumption". Along with Sodoma in the oratory their frescoes wrote Girolamo del Paccia and Domenico beccafumi. The period from 1518 to 1525, the year remains unclear. It is known that in 1518 of Sodom sent letters to the Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso d'este, ruler of Mantua, Francesco Gonzaga, in the hope of getting a job in their backyards, but was it implemented this desire, or it was never implemented is unknown. Scientists believe that in the time of Sodom have made trips to Tuscany and cities of Tuscany. May 3, 1525, he received the order for manufacturing of gonfalone, that is banners, for the community of San Sebastiano di Camollia in Siena (now in the Pitti Gallery, Florence). From documents it is known that the money was paid to the artist in installments over 1526, and the last payment he had to wait until the year 1531. On one side of the banners of Sodom depicted pierced with arrows of St. Sebastian, on the back — the Madonna and child in glory surrounded by saints. The artwork is done in muted, soft colours; for anatomically perfectly drawn figure of St. Sebastian extends a rich landscape with antique ruins; the head of the Saint angel is crowned with the crown of a Martyr. In modeling the figures of Sebastian there is the influence of antique sculpture.

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