The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini

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9781537658520: The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini

The magnificent biography of Florentine goldsmith, sculptor and artist Benvenuto Cellini is presented here complete.

Although encouraged by his family to take up music as a youth, the young Cellini had other ideas. At first apprenticing as a goldsmith with his father, it was during his reckless teenage years that Cellini was banished from Florence's borders for taking part in an intense street brawl with his friends.

This temporary ban forced the teenage Cellini into travelling around Italy; he would live for a time in the town of Siena, then Bologna, and finally onto the great and ancient capital of Rome when he was nineteen. Putting his early training in metalwork to use, the young Cellini quickly demonstrated great talent in the moulding of silver. In Renaissance Rome there was no shortage of demand for fine quality handiwork, and Cellini's living was soon secure thanks to commissions from figures such as the Bishop of Salamanca.

Together with the stories of his wayward youth and ascendance to acclaim as an artisan and sculptor, Cellini describes his travels, his associates, his romances and the locales he settles in. Much of the biography is full of opinions on matters of art and society which Cellini attempts to justify with reasoned argument. Some bizarre and fantastical events - such as the author conjuring a great legion of devils inside the Roman Colosseum after a favourite mistress of Cellini's was led away by her mother, lend liveliness to the text.

The biography concludes quite suddenly with the final journey Cellini made to Pisa, which was another of his favoured cities. For its style, humour, and undoubted value as a history and commentary upon the Italian Renaissance, Benvenuto Cellini's biography is considered the most valuable of the era.

This translation to English is by John Addington Symonds, an acclaimed literary critic and scholar of Renaissance Italian culture. Symonds was himself an authoritative author of several biographies regarding prominent Italian figures of the 14th to 16th centuries.

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About the Author:

Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) was a celebrated goldsmith and distinguished sculptor whose powerful talent can still be seen in such works as his bronze statue of Perseus and his gold salt cellar made for Francis 1. He worked for a variety of patrons, including Popes Clement VII and Paul III.

From AudioFile:

Enter the sixteenth-century world of Italy and the Vatican, where Cellini, a master goldsmith and sculptor, lived and flourished. Whitfield brings Cellini's autobiography to life, fluently rolling Italian and English words off his tongue and capturing the flavor of the tale. Cellini tells of his adventures, his encounters with DaVinci and Michelangelo, the Medicis and other famous people of his era. The minute details recounted by Cellini are gracefully read by Whitfield, who breathes life into this fascinating autobiography. M.B.K. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Benvenuto Cellini
ISBN 10: 1537658522 ISBN 13: 9781537658520
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