(b. 1477, Vercelli, d. 1549, Siena)

Life of St Benedict, Scene 30: Benedict Foretells the Destruction of Montecassino

Abbazia, Monteoliveto Maggiore

Scene 30 of the cycle on the life of St Benedict depicts Benedict foretelling the destruction of Montecassino.

In some of his scenes (e.g. in Scene 30) Sodoma illustrates successive phases of a single event. That this technique might be used to depict moment-by-moment developments within a particular episode is vividly illustrated by Scene 6, which also happens to incorporate a real window in the picture composition.

In this scene the viewer is far more captivated by the massive rump of a horse looming up in the foreground or the two men scuffling on the right than by the actual subject matter, which is presented only in a tiny secondary scene in the background.