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 Benvenuto Cellini

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Benvenuto Cellini Famous memorial

Birth
Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Death
13 Feb 1571 (aged 70)
Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Burial
Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Memorial ID
13115942 View Source

Sculptor. He is recognized as an Italian Renaissance sculptor of the 16th century. Not only was he a sculptor but a goldsmith and an author. His creations were produced in the Mannerist style, which was popular in the 16th century. His lasting fame is more documented in his autobiography than it is to his surviving creations. Many of his artistic gold pieces have been melted for the precious metal, yet the designs have been recorded in three 18th-century drawings in the British Museum in London. At least six known drawings and sketches are in museum exhibits around the world, including the Louvre in Paris and the National Museum in Washington, DC. Born some twenty years after his parent's marriage, his father had trained him to be a musician but he had more interest in learning to be a goldsmith. At nineteen, he traveled to Rome, where he was commissioned by Popes Clement VII and Paul III, for whom he made jeweled ornaments and medallions. These are among the only gold pieces of his work that have survived to the 21st century. Throughout his career, he was known for being in several physical altercations resulting in at least two murders, but his actions were resolved by the Pope. He was arrested at least twice for homosexual acts. In 1528 he created the seal for Cardinal Gonzaga, which is now in the Episcopal Archives of the City of Mantua. In 1536, he traveled to France, where he made the famous saltcellar for King François I and sculpted decorations for the palace at Fontainebleau. Commissioned by Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, his best-known creation is the bronze sculpture, "Perseus," which still stands in Florence. A nude muscular-male statue in bronze, "Perseus," stands in triumphant, holding Medusa's severed head in his outstretched hand. Cellini transfigured the back of Perseus' helmet with his flowing locks, into the sculptor's self-portrait. The base of the statue has four niches, containing statuettes of Zeus, Hermes, Athena, and Danae with the young Perseus. The statue was unveiled to the public on April 27, 1554. During the same period, he created the marble figures of "Apollo and Hyacinth" in 1546, "Narcissus" in 1547, and restored an antique torso from Palestrina as "Ganymede and the Eagle" in 1547. In 1548 he also completed the colossal bust of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. "The Escorial Crucifix," which was created in 1556, was originally intended for his own tomb, but he sold it to be presented to King Philip II of Spain and is now in the church of the royal monastery of the Escorial in Spain. Cellini's 1558 autobiography "Vita," which was first printed in Italian in 1729, was translated into English in 1771, German in 1796, and French in 1822. Using informal language of the time, he dictated his autobiography giving firsthand accounts of his meetings with European royalty as well as Roman Catholic Popes, hence his life is the most well-documented of this era. It tells how he survived warfare, imprisonment, poisoning, syphilis and the loss of many of his family to the plague, which was an everyday threat. In the autobiography, Cellini claimed that Michelangelo told him he was the next best sculptor after Michelangelo. After recent investigation, a few errors have been found in the autobiography, yet it remains of great historical importance. Besides his autobiography, he wrote several treatises on the art of goldsmithing and sculpturing. Along with many portraits of him being done, he did a self-portrait. There is a bust of Benvenuto Cellini on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Although a source states that he never married, others state he married a servant girl nine years before his death. The couple had several children, yet only a son and a daughter lived to adulthood. He was a charter member of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Florence's artistic institute, which was founded in 1563. Two days after his death, he was buried in great pomp and ceremony. Often being compared to Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, his art fell out of fashion after his death until Victorian England. Using his autobiography, at least three stage plays or films have been made about his life in the 20th century.

Sculptor. He is recognized as an Italian Renaissance sculptor of the 16th century. Not only was he a sculptor but a goldsmith and an author. His creations were produced in the Mannerist style, which was popular in the 16th century. His lasting fame is more documented in his autobiography than it is to his surviving creations. Many of his artistic gold pieces have been melted for the precious metal, yet the designs have been recorded in three 18th-century drawings in the British Museum in London. At least six known drawings and sketches are in museum exhibits around the world, including the Louvre in Paris and the National Museum in Washington, DC. Born some twenty years after his parent's marriage, his father had trained him to be a musician but he had more interest in learning to be a goldsmith. At nineteen, he traveled to Rome, where he was commissioned by Popes Clement VII and Paul III, for whom he made jeweled ornaments and medallions. These are among the only gold pieces of his work that have survived to the 21st century. Throughout his career, he was known for being in several physical altercations resulting in at least two murders, but his actions were resolved by the Pope. He was arrested at least twice for homosexual acts. In 1528 he created the seal for Cardinal Gonzaga, which is now in the Episcopal Archives of the City of Mantua. In 1536, he traveled to France, where he made the famous saltcellar for King François I and sculpted decorations for the palace at Fontainebleau. Commissioned by Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, his best-known creation is the bronze sculpture, "Perseus," which still stands in Florence. A nude muscular-male statue in bronze, "Perseus," stands in triumphant, holding Medusa's severed head in his outstretched hand. Cellini transfigured the back of Perseus' helmet with his flowing locks, into the sculptor's self-portrait. The base of the statue has four niches, containing statuettes of Zeus, Hermes, Athena, and Danae with the young Perseus. The statue was unveiled to the public on April 27, 1554. During the same period, he created the marble figures of "Apollo and Hyacinth" in 1546, "Narcissus" in 1547, and restored an antique torso from Palestrina as "Ganymede and the Eagle" in 1547. In 1548 he also completed the colossal bust of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. "The Escorial Crucifix," which was created in 1556, was originally intended for his own tomb, but he sold it to be presented to King Philip II of Spain and is now in the church of the royal monastery of the Escorial in Spain. Cellini's 1558 autobiography "Vita," which was first printed in Italian in 1729, was translated into English in 1771, German in 1796, and French in 1822. Using informal language of the time, he dictated his autobiography giving firsthand accounts of his meetings with European royalty as well as Roman Catholic Popes, hence his life is the most well-documented of this era. It tells how he survived warfare, imprisonment, poisoning, syphilis and the loss of many of his family to the plague, which was an everyday threat. In the autobiography, Cellini claimed that Michelangelo told him he was the next best sculptor after Michelangelo. After recent investigation, a few errors have been found in the autobiography, yet it remains of great historical importance. Besides his autobiography, he wrote several treatises on the art of goldsmithing and sculpturing. Along with many portraits of him being done, he did a self-portrait. There is a bust of Benvenuto Cellini on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Although a source states that he never married, others state he married a servant girl nine years before his death. The couple had several children, yet only a son and a daughter lived to adulthood. He was a charter member of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Florence's artistic institute, which was founded in 1563. Two days after his death, he was buried in great pomp and ceremony. Often being compared to Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, his art fell out of fashion after his death until Victorian England. Using his autobiography, at least three stage plays or films have been made about his life in the 20th century.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: José L Bernabé Tronchoni
  • Added: 24 Jan 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 13115942
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/13115942/benvenuto-cellini: accessed ), memorial page for Benvenuto Cellini (3 Nov 1500–13 Feb 1571), Find a Grave Memorial ID 13115942, citing Santissima Annunziata alle Murate, Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy; Maintained by Find a Grave.