Kings, dukes, and popes sought Cellini for his exquisite craftsmanship, while villains, thieves, and necromancers knew him for far less noble reasons. The colorful exploits of Cellini chronicle the flavor of Italian Renaissance life with his unique perspective. If his account is true, it is surprising that Cellini had time for art. He died in Florence in 1571 at the age of 71 leaving behind a magnificent legacy of work.
Still in the news today, Cellini's grandiose gold and enamel masterpiece, the Saltcellar of Francis I executed in 1540 for the King of France and valued today at $60,000,000, was recovered recently after being stolen from a museum in Vienna. The art world continues to appreciate the work of Cellini, even if he does tell us himself of his greatness. No one blows his own horn louder than Benvenuto Cellini.
Brenda Harness, Art Historian
Brenda Harness is a practicing artist, art historian, and former university teacher writing about a variety of topics pertaining to art and art history. Visit her at Fine Art Touch.
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