Domenico Ghidoni (13 sett. 1857 - 2 sett.1920
Domenico Ghidoni was
born in Ospitaletto on September 13, 1857. Son of peasants, step
the childhood and early adulthood in work in the fields together
with the father and his brothers, he soon began to occupy the
free time dedicating themselves to wood carving.
The most famous of these
works of his youth was a tobacco pouch in the form of shoe in
boxwood, wherein are collected laboriously on the cover, on the
sides, on the sole, the objects and symbols of the passion of
Jesus. These earliest essays of folk art and spontaneous are
testimonies of a genuine vocation to sculpture.
Thanks to the help of
people that were responding favorably the skill, Ghidoni, went
twenties in Brescia, apprenticeships of Peter Faitini
(1833-1902well-known sculptor in the city). In his workshop,
Ghidoni had the opportunity to acquire the rudiments of the art
and craft, and the difficult art of treating the marble.
His character is defined
shy, modest and reserved. Never married and no longer had a home
after the abandonment of native home. Learned the technique, he
participated in a competition to get the scholarship established
by Camillo Brozzoni (1802-1864) to help young artists of Brescia.
Ghidoni won the competition by presenting a sketch entitled
EMIGRANTS. Won the competition, from 1880 he lived in Milan and
Turin for the purpose of study, working in the shops of
established sculptors as Odoardo Tabacchi (1831-1905),
representative of the current realist.
At the end of the
scholarship, Ghidoni stood, between 1882 and 1890, several
exhibitions in which he began to make himself known within the
current realist. Even began to sell: in 1885 he received an
important commission for the tomb of the family Garbagnati the
Monumental Cemetery in Milan. Numerous, since then, there are
the statues and compositions for tombs in Milan, Turin and
It remained connected to
Brescia thanks to the friendship with the architect Antonio
Tagliaferri (1835-1909) and his family, as well as to families
Manziana and Minelli. In Brescia run the famous monument to Tito
Speri, inaugurated in 1888, and the funerary monuments Bonoris
and Da Ponto in Vantiniano cemetery.
In 1889 send to a
exposure to the Glaspalast in Munich a marble statue, Piacere,
which was immediately sold. From there arose an invitation to
work in Germany. His character prevented him from accepting the
proposal. In his maturity he lived almost exclusively in Milan.
In 1891 he presented to
the Triennial Exhibition of Brera the very important group
EMIGRANTS who impose to the national attention. For the occasion
had taken over the sketch used years before for the competition
Spirit sensitive to the
ideals of justice and freedom, outraged by disdain and contempt
nourished by the bourgeoisie toward the poor people, and he took
a symbol of the inhuman exploitation of prostitutes which
was represented in a provocative and wonderful work in a
group now lost with the title "Our Slaves".
Of this work remain
photographs and a cast, while the original was destroyed in part
by the author himself. The work was rejected by Exhibition of
Brera in 1894 for the scandalous and provocative subject. The
episode sign negatively the painter who destroyed the opera, but
not the plaster casts.
The reaction was a
withdraw into himself: not expounded more, rarely participated
in competitions with little conviction, without being able to
win ever. The were commissioned statues of the Evangelists
Matthew and John, for the parish church to Alzano Maggiore.
In 1898 he carved the
commemorative medallion on the occasion of the tenth anniversary
of the death of Cesare Correnti, fighter and historical " batlle
of the ten day ". The same year was inaugurated the monument to
Numerous were the boards
of statues, bas-reliefs, palliums d the altar that were assigned
in many churches, including Ospitaletto where he realized "a
sweet figure of Christ among the children". Worthy of note are
the monument to Maddalena Monge-Grun cemetery in Milan in 1912.
He lived the last years of life still lonely and isolated.
He died at the age of 63
years on the 2 September 1920 of disease "irreparable damage" at
the Fatebenefratelli Hospital. He was assisted by some friends
and by his granddaughter Bina.
from the book: Domenico Ghidoni di Enzo Abeni e Luciano
works: "the Immigrant"