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Cellini, Benvenuto

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Born: 1500 AD
Died: 1571 AD, at 70 years of age.

Nationality: Italian
Categories: Artists, Musicians, Painters, Sculptor, Soldier

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1500 - Benvenuto Cellini, born on the 3rd of November in Florence. His father was an instrument maker and musician in the band of the Signoria. He was an Italian goldsmith, painter, sculptor, soldier and musician of the Renaissance.

1516 - At the age of 16, he was exiled from Florence following a brawl. He then wandered between Bologna, Pisa and Rome and studied in goldsmiths' workshops.

1523 - 1530 - He escaped after spending just a few nights in prison following his arrest for attacking three people between, killing the assassin of his brother Cecchino, a mercenary of Giovanni delle Bande Nere, and being condemned for sodomy. During one of his numerous flights from the law, Cellini became a bronze sculptor.

1527 - He had fought against Carlo V's Lanzichenecchi during the nine months of the pillage of Rome, and killed the Conestabile di Borbone with an arquebus shot from the walls of Castel Sant'Angelo.

1529 - His talent as an artisan came to the attention of Pope Clemente VII, who appointed him head of the papal workshop.

1535 - In Venice he met Jacopo Sansovino, who taught him the technique of casting.

1538 - After returning to Rome, he was arrested with the charge of having appropriated property of pope Clemente VII.

1540 - Found him in Fontainebleau, at the court of François I, along with Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio.

1543 - He forged the Saliera "table monument" for King François.

1544 - He married Piera de' Parigi, he had fathered a child following an affair with a model.

1554 - He fled from France (suspected of having stolen from the royal purse).

       - In Florence he created his masterpiece "Perseo", located in the shade of the loggia of the Orcagna dei Lanzi.

1556 - 1557 - In Madrid he sculpted his Cristo for the Escorial from a single marble block.

1558 - He began to write his autobiography "La Vita", which with the power of its narrative and its self-referential.

1567 - He interrupted "La Vita" (which remained incomplete) to write his "Treatises" on "Goldsmithing" and "Sculpture", outstanding examples of educational insights and technical knowledge.

1571 - He died in Florence on the 14th of February,the year in which the Christian fleet finally defeated the Turks at Lepanto. He is buried in the Church of Santa Maria Novella.


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Page last updated: 10:14am, 13th Apr '07