Benvenuto Cellini, (1500-1571) was an Italian goldsmith and sculptor.



The sculptor
 He was not regarded as an outstanding sculptor during his lifetime, and it is doubtful of his name would mean much today except for his writing.


The autobiography
 His Autobiography was begun in 1558 and published in 1728. The Autobiography follows the bragging, arrogant Cellini through adventure after adventure in the courts of Rome, Florence, and Paris. He dramatized each incident as if it were an event that moved the world.


His story
 Cellini's story is instructive as well as entertaining. It takes the reader through such historical events as the siege of Rome in 1527, and introduces people of his time in such a way that they seem to live again. He vividly describes every step of the casting of his masterpiece, Perseus. Cellini says that the completion of typical of his exaggerations. 


Purseus
 The reader must be on guard, especially when the artist appraises his own deeds. However, critics have praised Perseus for its expressive outlines and striking patina (oxidized surface). Cellini's only identifiable work as a goldsmith, except for some coins and medals, is an elaborate silver and gold table ornament known as the Saltcellar of Francis I. It was done in the 1540's. 
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Click on picture to enlarge

 

Michelangelo


 The forced poses, the influence of the both the movement known as mannerism and of Michelangelo. The same ornamentation appears in Cellini's semicircular bronze relief of the goddess Diana, called Nymph of Fontainbleau (1543-1544), made for King Francis I of France. Cellini was born in Florence.

 




Cellini's works of art



§ "Perseus" 1545-54 Bronze Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence.
§ "Nymph of Fontainebleau" 1542-44 Bronze (205 x 409 cm)in Musée du Louvre Paris.
§ "Ganymedes" 1545-47 Bronze (height: 62 cm) Museo Nazionale del Bargello Florence.
§ "Bust of Cosimo I" Bronze Museo Nazionale del Bargello Florence.
§ "Salt Cellar" 1540-44 Gold, enamel and ebony (26x33,5 cm) Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.

 

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