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See translation of his autobiography by J. A. Symonds (1888; many later editions).
Born Nov. 3, 1500, in Florence; died there Feb. 13, 1571. Italian sculptor, goldsmith, and writer.
Cellini studied with the goldsmith M. Bandinelli and was influenced by Michelangelo. He worked in Florence, Pisa, Bologna, Venice, Rome (1532–40), and Paris, as well as at the court of Francis I at Fontainebleau (1540–45).
One of the most notable masters of mannerism, Cellini produced virtuoso sculptures and jewelry marked by delicate, exaggeratedly elongated figures, often with complex curves. Examples are the saltcellar made for Francis I (gold, enamel, precious gems; 1539–43, Museum of Art History, Vienna), Narcissus (marble, 1540’s, National Museum, Florence), and The Escorial Crucifix (marble, 1562, the Escorial, Spain). Cellini boldly resolved the problems of creating sculptures in the round, especially in the statue Perseus With the Head of Medusa (bronze, 1545–54, Loggia dei Lanzi), which, like many of Cellini’s other works, is characterized by excessive detail.
Cellini gained world fame as a writer from his Life, which he dictated between 1558 and 1565 (1st ed., 1728; Russian translation, 1848). An autobiography reading like a picaresque novel, Cellini’s Life is noted for directness of narration. Ignoring the norms of literary style and the rules of grammar, Cellini used the language of the streets to re-create vividly the personality of the late Renaissance man in Italy.
Cellini also was interested in art theory. In 1568 he wrote two treatises, one on goldsmithing and the other on sculpture.
WORKSVila, a cura di G. G. Ferrero. Turin, 1959.
In Russian translation:
Zhizn’. Translated by M. Lozinskii. Introduction by A. K. Dzhivelegov. Moscow-Leningrad .
Zhizn, 2nd ed. Translated by M. Lozinskii. Introduction by L. Pinskii. Moscow, 1958.
REFERENCESDzhivelegov, A. K. Ocherki ital’ianskogo Vozrozhdeniia. Kastil’one, Aretino, Chellini. Moscow, 1929.
Vipper, B. R. “Benvenuto Chellini.” In Stat’i ob iskusstve. [Moscow, 1970.]
Camesasca, E. Tutta l’opera del Cellini. Milan, 1955.
Calamandrei, P. Scritti e inediti celliniani. Florence, 1971.