The Virgin and Christ Child Playing with a Lamb

WAG 1995.50


Giovanni Antonoio Bazzi (1477 - 1549) was an Italian artist and the dominant painter of the Sienese School in the early 16th century. He was nicknamed 'Il Sodoma' or 'the Sodomite'. Giorgio Vasari wrote that this was becasue Bazzi 'always had about him boys and beardless youths, whom he loved more than was decent'. Bazzi appears however to have embraced the nickname, writing songs and poems about it. Bazzi painted altarpieces, frescoes and panel paintings, working in Rome, Piombino, Florence, Pisa and Volterra. He was pre-eminent in Siena and became an official painter to the Sienese Republic in the late 1520s. Silverpoint is a metalpoint techinque which involves drawing on primed paper with a silver stylus or point. It was popular during the Renaissance until about the end of the 16th century when it was largely supplanted by graphite. The technique produces a fine, delicate line which can be built up to create deeper tones and texture.