The Italian painter Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, known as Sodoma, was documented at work in the cloister of Monte Oliveto Maggiore on 5 August 1505. Sodoma worked in the Olivetan monastery for three years, continuing the biographical fresco cycle begun by Luca Signorelli showing scenes from the life of St. Benedict, the father of western monasticism. During this time, Sodoma painted 26 episodes from the saint’s life as well as an image of Benedict giving the Rule to his disciples. The residents of Monte Oliveto Maggiore would pass by these frescoes on a daily basis, ever reminded of St. Benedict’s miracles and moral example.
View of Cloister; St Benedict Giving the Rule to the Olivetans
Life of St Benedict, Scene 1: Benedict Leaves His Parent’s House
Life of St Benedict, Scene 13: Benedict Frees a Monk