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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 Brescia.

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 Brozzoni.

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 Moretto.

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 Spiazzi (1985)

works: "the Immigrant"