1500 - 1571

This is a statue of Perseus sculpted by Cellini.


Cellini had a very strong, but strange, impression on the Italian High Renaissance.


Benvenuto Cellini was born in Florence in 1500. He was apprenticed to a goldsmith at the age of 15.

At the age of 16, continual duelling and brawling caused him to be exiled to Sienna. In 1523, he was prosecuted yet again for fighting. The justice ruled that he be given the death penalty. Luckily for Cellini, he managed to flee to Rome. There, he became a pupil working under Michaelangelo. In 1527, he shot a constable of Bourbon and the Prince of Orange. In addition to his criminal list, Cellini was accused of killing a rival goldsmith. Ten years after the murder of the constable and the prince, he was accused of embezzlement. After being thrown in jail, he escaped with much skill to be foolishly caught and imprisoned again.

Among his most famous patrons were Pope Clement VII, Pope Paul III, Francis 1 of France, and Cosimo 1 de Medici of Florence. Cellini was an accomplished sculptor and engraver. He was a versatile artist of the Italian High Renaissance. Throughout his career, Cellini worked for the Papacy and the Aristocracy.


Cellini was an accomplished versatile artist of the Italian High Renaissance. He was a goldsmith, a sculptor, and a writer. He was also an architect.

The autobiography that he wrote is considered priceless in the modern day, partly because of the information that it includes about the High Renaissance. He also wrote other books as a talented author. Cellini was involved in the crafting of coins and other jewellery designs. He was a Master Craftsman, although he was not involved in any guilds. Cellini had many designs for metalwork.

Cellini was involved in many famous works of art. As a goldsmith, he made a Saltcellar for Francis 1 of France. Many works of gold were included in Cellini's schedule. Other works of art that Cellini created are the silver figures of Jupiter, Juno, Vulcan and Mars.

Among Cellini's most famous works of art are the carved crucifix of black and white marble, the Perseus of bronze, a marble statue of Apollo, and many paintings and sculptings at Fontainbleau School. Probably his most famous sculptural work of art is the Nymph of Fontainbleau, which was sculpted in bronze. His first large scale sculptural works were the bust of Julius Ceasar and a bronze relief of the Nymph of Fontainbleau. Cellini made a beautiful bust of Cosimo 1 de Medici. Cellini made two portraits of Bronzino. Cellini was famous as an architect, and made plans for the Neptune Fountain in Piazza Sigralin.


Cellini strongly influenced the painting and sculpting at Fontainbleau School, and he set high technical standards for the sculptors that followed him. Cellini had the finest metalwork in the Renaissance.

This beautiful saltcellar, made for Francis 1 of France, is one of Cellini's most famous works of art.


1. Chappel, Miles L. Benvenuto Cellini. Grollier Electronic Publishing Inc., 1995, pp. 1 - 2.

2. Nelson, W. A. Welister. Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, G. & C. Merrian Co., 1972, p. 272.

3. Wolf, Robert E. Renaissance and Mannerist Art. New York, Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1968, pp. 86 - 87.

This page was prepared by Adam and Luke, Grade 8, Riverdale Junior Secondary School.