Benvenuto Cellini (Biographical details)

Benvenuto Cellini (sculptor/medallist; goldsmith/metalworker; Italian; Male; 1500 - 1571)

Also known as

Cellini, Benvenuto


Sculptor, goldsmith and medallist: Italian. b. Florence 1500- d. Florence 1571. Active in Florence, Rome, Naples and Paris. Many details of his extraordinarily tempestuous life are recorded in his famous autobiography. He studied in Florence, Bologna, Pisa and Rome, travelling even more extensively in his later career. He was early employed by the Medici - from 1523-40 working for them principally in Rome, mostly for the Medici pope Clement VII. In 1540 he travelled to France, where he worked for Francis I at Fontainebleau and Paris, presenting the King with the famous gold Salt-cellar in 1543. He was back in Florence in 1545, where he was employed by Cosimo de' Medici, completing the 'Perseus' in 1546 - 54. He was a bitter rival of Bandinelli (q.v.) and of another Florentine sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati (1511-92). On his own admission he was influenced by Michelangelo, but the vigour of his work is distinctly personal. His drawings are exceptionally rare; they have something of the same unusually intense, almost obsessive quality as his sculptures.


Turner, Florentine Drawings of the Sixteenth Century, London, 1986