(1500-1571) was an Italian goldsmith and 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.
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.
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
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.
on picture to enlarge
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
§ "Ganymedes" 1545-47 Bronze (height: 62 cm) Museo Nazionale del
§ "Bust of Cosimo I" Bronze Museo Nazionale del Bargello Florence.
§ "Salt Cellar" 1540-44 Gold, enamel and ebony (26x33,5 cm)
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.