The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini
May 20, 2020 9:44 PM - by Benvenuto Cellini - Subscribe

Benvenuto Cellini was a celebrated Renaissance sculptor and goldsmith - a passionate craftsman who was admired and resented by the most powerful political and artistic personalities in sixteenth-century Florence, Rome and Paris. He was also a murderer and a braggart, a shameless adventurer who at different times experienced both papal persecution and imprisonment, and the adulation of the royal court. Inn-keepers and prostitutes, kings and cardinals, artists and soldiers rub shoulders in the pages of his notorious autobiography: a vivid portrait of the manners and morals of both the rulers of the day and of their subjects. Written with supreme powers of invective and an irrepressible sense of humor, this is an unrivaled glimpse into the palaces and prisons of the Italy of Michelangelo and the Medici.
posted by Chrysostom (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Oh! I love this book. It’s a good reminder to go reread it. The part where he is pouring the bronze for the Perseus is great, really Dr. Frankenstein “I Have Created!!” stuff.

Lois McMaster Bujold has a nice little fantasy novel with a lot of elements taken from it, called “The Spirit Ring.”
posted by PussKillian at 4:06 PM on May 21

I got a copy of this for research purposes back when I was writing a historical novel that I finished but never got published. Alas, I never got around to reading it, but I should dig it out and add it to the pandemic pile. Thanks for posting this!
posted by heteronym at 7:09 PM on May 21

He seems like the kind of guy who would be a real pain to actually hang around with, but it's entertaining to read his never-ending bragging.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:43 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]

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