Sade in Italy
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
On two occasions, Marquis de Sade fled from France to Italy. During one of these stays, Sade visited the Domus Aurea, in the frescoes of which he scratched his name. In his writings, he describes some of the paintings of the Uffizi. He mentions Venus of Medici, Hermaphrodite, and Caligula Caressing His Sister.
First flight to Italy
The first time Sade fled to Italy was after the Marseille affair, late June 1772, where he was involved the non-lethal poisoning of prostitutes with the supposed aphrodisiac Spanish fly. On July 4 he fled to Italy with his sister-in-law Anne. On December 8, 1772 Sade was arrested in Sardinia, Italy. Sade was subsequently imprisoned at the Fortress of Miolans but escaped four months later.
Second flight to Italy
His second flight to Italy was in 1775. He leaves in August, first travelling to Florence incognito as Count de Mazan. In Florence, he visits the works of art of the Grand Duke's gallery. On September 29 he arrives in Rome. Late January of 1776, the Marquis is at Naples. On May 4 M. de Mazan leaves Naples, and on June 1 arrives at Rome. Late June he travels back to France, arriving in Grenoble, via Bologne and Turin