Cellini, Benvenuto

[chalice by Cellini] (1500-1571) Goldsmith and worker in bronze, born Florence; died there. He worked exclusively as a goldsmith, the leading one of his day, until he visited the court of Francis I, in 1537, when he began casting bronze statues. His masterpiece is the colossal "Perseus" of the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, executed for Cosimo de' Medici, 1545. The story of its casting is vividly told in his famous "Autobiography," an egotistical but picturesque record of his adventurous life. It includes his description of the siege of Rome, 1527, where he claimed to have killed the Constable de Bourbon and wounded the Prince of Orange. Among exquisite examples of his work are coins executed for Paul III and Clement VII, an elaborate jeweled morse, or brooch, for a cope of the latter, and the intricately wrought golden salt-cellar of Francis I, now in the Vienna museum.

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