Il Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi)

The Renaissance painter: By Sophia Lachapelle

Overview of Sodoma's Life

ll Sodoma was born under the name of Giovanni Antonio Bazzi. He was born 1477 in Vercelli, Italy. Sodoma spent his time traveling to different cities in Italy. He spent most of his time in Siena but he also visited and worked in Rome, Pisa, Florence, Piombino, Volterra, and S. Gimignano.

Training and Influences

Sodoma had lots of influence from other artists of his time. Sodoma received artistic training in north Italy, and attended the Lombard manner. Sodoma apprenticed under Martino Spanzotti in Vercelli for 7 years. It is possible that Sodoma was in the circle of Leonardo in Milan for a period of his life. He also found insperation in Signorelli, Fra Bartolommeo, and Raphael.

Lifestyle and Personal Details

Sodoma married Beatrice di Galli and had one son and one daughter. It was said that Sodoma was known for his flamboyant behavior. He had a collection of exotic animals, he owned a racehorse, and he always had a group of admirers who urged him on to do crazy things. Sodoma was even praised by a pope for his good judgment and quick reasoning.

Art and Patrons

Sodoma was skilled at both frescoes and panel painting. Frescoes are paintings done with watercolor painted on to wet plaster, they are usually done on ceilings or walls. He painted frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican palace. He also painted frescoes in the Oratory of San Bernardino in Siena, Italy. A Sienese banker named Agostino Chigi commissioned Sodoma to do frescoes of the life of Alexander the Great in the Villa Farnesina, Italy. The government of Siena, commissioned Sodoma to do two important frescoes. Both decorating the Cappella della Piazza on the outside walls of the Palazzo Pubblico and three standing saints in the Sala del Mapomondo inside the Palazzo Pubblico. Sodoma also did a number of altarpieces, The Deposition in the church of S. Francesco in Siena and the Adoration of the Magi in Sant'Agostino also in Siena were some of his best work with altarpieces. The Spannocchi family in Siena and Agostino Chigi in Rome as well as for Pope Julius II all had their part in commissioning Sodoma and giving Sodoma his chance to create his art. Sodoma was also commissioned by Sant'Ansano and San Vittorio, two of Siena's patron saints for a number of projects.

Sodoma and Isms

Sodoma was closely related to classicism. He wasn't a inventor so much as he was a synthesizer. Sodoma helped introduce a High Renaissance style to Italy. The ideals of classical humanism was found through out Sodoma's work. Sodoma was taught the rules of art from Spanzotti when he was young. He worked on painting the perfect human body as he saw it. Sodoma also worked on Naturalism in his work. He spent most of his time in Siena which is near Florence which lead him to focus on line and form in his paintings. Sodoma emphasized light, texture, and color in his paintings. In many of Somoda's paintings you can see an elaborate landscape in the background.
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Wedding of Alexander and Roxane

The Wedding of Alexander and Roxane was created in 1516-18. Alexander as in Alexander the Great and his wife Roxane. Historians belive that this marriage was both out of love and political advantage. This wedding brought the persians and the Greeks together. This painting is one of the most important works that Sodoma did. The Wedding of Alexander is on the ceiling of the Villa Farnesina, one of Agostino Chigi's palaces in Rome. Sodoma's fresco sits along side frescoes by artists like Raphael Sanzio, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giovanni da Udine, Giulio Romano, and Giovan Francesco Penni. When Raphael Sanzio, worked on the same ceiling he left parts Sodoma’s fresco.

Wedding of Alexander and Roxane to Me

The Wedding of Alexander and Roxane is and elaborate and multi-part painting. You have Alexander the great returning from war in his orange cape in the center of the painting. Then there is Roxane sitting naked on the bed awaiting him. On the left there are maids and servants there watching Alexander and Roxane reunite. On the right there is a landscape painted in the distance. If you look closely you can see knights riding on horses fighting. There are burned houses and children being knocked over in the chaos. This scene of fighting is based on the war Alexander was fighting. There are angles or cupids through out the painting, mainly towards the ceiling above the bed.

Isms Association

The Wedding of Alexander and Roxane has lots of isms involved in it. Humanism is represented in Sodoma's representation of the perfect human form. Sodoma painted the human body several times in this painting and for each he tried to paint the perfect human form. Perspective is showed in the painting with the landscape and with the arches behind Alexander. The painting looks three denominational especially in those areas. Naturalism is represented with Sodoma's painting with the fabrics and the landscape. With the fabrics he worked and focused on the texture of the fabric. He tried to make it as realistic as possible and he accomplished this. Looking at the silk fabric that the cupids are holding you can almost feel it. Also the landscapes represent naturalism by emphasizing on the natural world.

Works Cited

"Sodoma." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. Gale, 1990. Biography in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.


Marx., Daniel, and Emil Krén. The Wedding of Alexander and Roxane. Digital image. Web Gallery of Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.


Wasson, Donald W. "Roxanne." Ancient History Encyclopedia. N.p., 08 Mar. 2012. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.