Vita di Benvenuto di Maestro Giovanni Cellini fiorentino, scritta, per lui medesimo, in Firenze

Vita di Benvenuto di Maestro Giovanni Cellini fiorentino, scritta, per lui medesimo, in Firenze[Read] ➵ Vita di Benvenuto di Maestro Giovanni Cellini fiorentino, scritta, per lui medesimo, in Firenze By Benvenuto Cellini – This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it This work was reproduced from the original artifact and remains as This work has been selected Benvenuto di ePUB ´ by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it This work was reproduced from the original artifact and remains as true to the original work as possible Therefore you will see the original copyright references library stamps as most of these works Vita di ePUB ô have been housed in our most important libraries around the world and other notations in the workThis work is in the public domain in the United States of America and possibly other nations Within the United States you may freely copy and distribute this work as no entity individual or corporate has a copyright on the body of di Benvenuto di Epub ß the workAs a reproduction of a historical artifact this work may contain missing or blurred pages poor pictures errant marks etc Scholars believe and we concur that this work is important enough to be preserved reproduced and made generally available to the public We appreciate your support of the preservation process and thank you for being an important di Benvenuto di Maestro Giovanni MOBI :¿ part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant. E M Forster sets a crucial chapter of A Room with a View in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence Forster's heroine Lucy Honeychurch witnesses a trivial but fatal dispute between two men in which knives are instantly drawn Lucy an Edwardian girl full of sensibility is horrified by the blood gushing from the mouth of the dying man and falls in a swoon Fortunately there is a michaelangelesue character standing nearby ready to catch her in his powerful arms I was in Florence when I was reading Forster's novel so I took a walk around the Piazza della Signoria soon after I'd read the episode of the knife fight trying to imagine the scene According to Forster Lucy was standing by the Neptune Fountain On Lucy's right hand side would have been the various statues that still stand in front of the Palazzo Vecchio and along the side of the Uffizi Gallery Michaelangelo's enormous David with his powerful arm raised coolly estimating the best angle from which to fling his stone at Goliath; Baccio Bandinelli's colossal Hercules brutally beating his enemy Cacus with a club; Donatello's Judith holding the bloodied body of Holofernes; and several other large marble pieces all depicting violent scenes But among all that monumental marble one piece of statuary stands out a relatively small bronze figure with a sword in his hand This is Perseus trampling the body of the Medusa while triumphantly raising the severed head high in the air The bronze is remarkable for many reasons but in particular for the way the stream of blood gushes from the head I think E M Forster must have stood exactly where I was standing when he first imagined that scene and must have had the Perseus in mind view image view spoiler hide spoiler LIFE AMONGST METALS Benvenuto Cellini 1500 1571 was an extraordinary personality As a goldsmith a warrior a musician and a writer he certainly did not lack skills But I shall refer to him as Benvenuto Mister Welcome He was named so after a wait of eighteen years by his parents but if he becomes congenial to us also it is because after reading his memoirs one feels so much closer to him He started writing his Life at the age of fifty eight but he ended it abruptly for unknown reasons about five years later It was not his death that halted it To situate Benvenuto well and clearly in his times it is apt to remember that he was an exact contemporary of the Emperor Charles V but died at an older age by about twenty three years This will help in realizing that the Emperor together with this dialectical nemesis the King of France Francis I changed the map of forces in the Italian peninsula Milan Florence Rome Naples gravitated around these two foreign monarchs during a good part of the sixteenth century Following his peripatetic life we see that he witnessed it all Benvenuto welcomed and embraced his age in all its expansion and destruction He was there in the middle of the imbroglio and he played not just the flute but also a part in the determinant political and artistic events With his bloody and treasured metals and precious stones he served the Medici pope Clement VII During the Sack of Rome Benvenuto from the tower of Sant’Angelo and while melting the pope’s jewels from the Apostolic Camera to save the gold shot with his falconet the very Prince of Orange He had also served the attacker Charles V with his exuisite creations but claimed to have killed one of his militant arms the Duke of Bourbon Later he served Francis I and his lover the Duchesse d’Étampes He leaves us a disparaged and amusing image of this woman while he left in Fontainebleau some of his preciosities Amongst others he had managed to convince the French Monarch of the beauty of his Salt Cellar the Saliera one of Benvenuto’s most famous concoctions and which previous patrons had failed to realize its exuisiteness He served Duke Alessandro de Medici and his version of Lorenzaccio the cousin who killed the Duke is not like the romanticized interpretation of the Romantic Alfred de Musset who got the inspiration of his play during his romance with George Sand Indeed Benvenuto is the source of the revelation gossip? for historians that this Medici was the illegitimate son of the Pope Clement Benvenuto also served the Grand Duke of the Medici Cosimo the First who was not the first of the Medici Cosimos Whirling in this court in which the Duchess Eleanor of Toledo gave free rein to her addiction to luxury was a fruitful and dangerous enterpriseReading this biography one cannot believe one’s eyes and that this book actually exists and how lucky we are to have it It is such a treat to handle a primary source that is as enthralling and entertaining and action packed as a novel by Dumas père For a reader now familiar with the uncanny tricks of Modernism Benvenuto’s visions and accounts of miracles seem almost a parody of Dante and his Paradiso This version however instead of ecstasy elicits merriment For a reader now his occasional bloody brutality can only seem repugnant But we have to remember that for a man of his period to walk around with one’s sword hanging from the belt or the dagger concealed in the leg was as necessary for positioning oneself in the world as it is for us now to carry a mobile phone For a reader now his views of women can also repel but for a reader now his views of young men would seem liberatingFor his boasted life was full of all kinds of arts the art of the precious object and the stunning sculpture; the art of promoting himself is there a effective practice of representation?; the art of killing the enemy or the art of defending one’s life And in no life as in Benvenuto’s do we see so ironically how metals and precious stones can be so dangerous Like a cat of many lives he survived amongst other attempts one in which he was made to swallow pulverized diamonds Dante’s Contrapasso or sculptural Contrapposto shake hands in these memoirsHis views on art and craftsmanship are fascinating too He grew artistically under the shadow of his master Michelangelo but he vilified Bandinelli He was then clairvoyant for it seems that Florentines now disparage over the presence of the latter’s Hercules and Cacus in the Piazza della Signoria But most important we have to be aware of the rarity of having a direct account on the difficulty in the actual making of some of the art works whose existence we take for granted We follow with great suspense when Benvenuto finally casts out his Perseus with a similar triumphal gesture as that displayed by his creation Perseus holds out the severed head of the Medusa Benvenuto held out his Perseus for posterity to beholdBut to me it was his layers of humour with his insistent persistence on the veracity of his claims that have made some of his uotes so memorable Without further provocation he retorted that I was a donkey; whereupon I said that he was not speaking the truth; that I was a better man than he in every respect but that if he kept on irritating me I would give him harder kicks than any donkey could In this account and thanks to the electrifying conductivity of Cellini’s life written out of the materials he handled so well we have been beueathed with a scintillating conduit to the first half of the 16C in ItalyViolent Metals Precious Life Precious Metals Violent Life Cellini was a goldsmith and sculptor of genius and little of his work survives today Perseus with the Head of Medusa the bronze sculpture he made in 1545 being a stunning exception Precious metals tend to be melted down especially in times of strife One of the text's greatest pleasures therefore is Cellini's description of his works and his painstaking process of making them This is truly a book of an artist of exuisite talent and his work plans Were it not for this text we would know little of the larger body of his work since as I've said so few examples surviveThis praise aside one is tempted to label this memoir auto hagiography for a lot of it is about self promotion and securing the author's posthumous myth Cellini's self love can overwhelm; he has no gift for humility But the fact remains that the book's also highly readable Readable as say Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island is readable Suddenly he's walking down the street with his mentor Michelangelo or meeting with Pope Clement—for whom he made many baubles—or manning the Castel Sant'Angelo's guns during the 1527 Sack of Rome by Holy Roman Emperor Charles VHe was one of those people who liked making enemies By tearing others down he'd propping himself up Apparently his works alone were insufficient to the task of contenting him Perhaps because producing them reuired such fawning acuiescence before the rich and powerful; Cellini was far too headstrong to be a courtier When he is calumniated by a vicious Vatican courtier who says he has gravely insulted the Pope—Farnese now not Clement—Cellini sets off to find work in France for the Pope will no longer pay him for his baubles' true worth and he fears arrest On this journey by horseback we glimpse the pristine countryside in 1530 or so from Grisons to Zurich and then in and around Lausanne Geneva and Lyons until finally—after fighting off murderous brigands—the road to Paris is open But soon Cellini returns to his shop and boyfriends in Rome I found the rationale for doing so unclearWhen Pope Farnese's illegitimate son Signor Pier Luigi calumniates Cellini—saying that during the Sack of Rome under Clement he stole Vatican jewelry worth 80000 crowns—he is thrown without a hearing into prison which turns out to be the same Castel Sant'Angelo from whose terrace he'd valiantly supervised the Church's guns during the Sack The French king who met Cellini in Rome and whom Cellini has promised to come and serve for a time tries diplomatic measures to free him and fails Ultimately the wily goldsmith escapes by tying together strips of bedsheets but during the escape he breaks his leg On all fours then leaving a trail of blood he crawls through the streets to a friendly Cardinal's house for sanctuary Pleas from high society are then made to the pope on Cellini's behalf But once again Luigi smears him with a heinous lie outrageous than the first and Cellini is thrown into the Vatican's worst dungeon crawling with tarantulas and venomous worms Now his death is eagerly sought by the pope and his henchmen But finally the French king is victorious in his diplomacy and Cellini is almost literally spirited out of the VaticanThe French king Francis I inundates Cellini with money and honors I cannot understate how despicably corrupt the French royal court was My God the avarice And naturally there were no police no rule of law The so called chivalrous knights were too busy shaking down the peasantry for coins Moreover it's the 1540s so we can hardly fault Cellini for the many unsourced scenes in which he is not present but seems to possess a verbatim transcript Suspect too are his many speeches set before his noble patrons in which he wins the argument Many of these speeches feel like staircase wit Yiddish trepverter; French l'esprit de l'escalier if not outright invention But we must keep in mind that Cellini was very social It could be that these overheard conversations some of them were relayed to him later by third parties We can never really know for sure of course and this undermines credibility That said the autobiography remains a rare glimpse into the daily life of Renaissance Italy and has few if any textual euals as such it compels careful reading Highly recommended All men of whatsoever uality they be who have done anything of excellence or which may properly resemble excellence ought if they be persons of truth and honesty to describe their life with their own hand Why we like or dislike someone why we admire or despise them why we are happy or annoyed by their conversation are uestions difficult than they look After reading this book for example I have grown uite enad of Benvenuto Cellini even though he had many ugly sides to his character—besides being criminally immoral These flaws were unmistakable and impossible to ignore; and yet he had one uality that allowed me and has allowed many others to grow fond of him nevertheless charisma Born in Florence in 1500 Benvenuto Cellini was a goldsmith and a sculptor considered one of the most important artists of Mannerism During his lifetime he traveled all around Italy and France making rings necklaces salt shakers statues fountains buttons lapels and coins for rich and powerful patrons Perhaps his most famous work is the statue of Perseus standing over the body of Medusa her bloody head held aloft in his hand which can be found in Florence As far as I know the only work of his I have personally seen is his fine crucifix in the Escorial near Madrid Since writing this I've seen both the Perseus statue in Flornece and his famous salt cellar in Vienna both exceptional But despite Cellini being to uote his book “the greatest artist ever born in his craft” he is nowadays mostly remembered for his autobiography which is without doubt the most important work of its kind from the Renaissance Cellini wrote his autobiography in a simple matter of fact style His main focus was on his development and career as an artist but he also relates many stories from his personal life along the way And from this narration emerges a remarkable portrait of the man himself The most conspicuous part of Cellini’s character is his arrogance He says near the beginning “in a work like this there will always be found occasion for natural bragging” but occasional is hardly a fitting description of his boasting Every page is stuffed with self praise He compliments himself for his robust constitution his strong body his keen mind his kind nature his skill in combat and most of all his artistic prowess The only artist he thinks eual to himself is Michelangelo and with few exceptions he considers his rivals to be incompetent dunces or worse It does not take shrewd judgment to read between the lines of this autobiography Cellini only admits to being in the wrong once in his life After taking sexual advantage of one of his models he viciously beat her He felt guilty because the day before he had forced her at gunpoint to marry her lover The next day he beat her up again Other than this Cellini would have you believe he is a decent honest respectful man and that all his enemies were motivated by jealousy or pure wickedness And yet the speed and consistency with which he finds himself surrounded by enemies and the freuency with which he gets into disputes and fights makes it painfully clear that he must have been a bellicose and infuriating fellow The degree to which Cellini was blind to his faults is both terrifying and oddly endearing That someone could be so unconcerned with the morality of his actions or with the justice of his behavior is an instructive lesson in human nature And that he is still likable is another lesson Cellini narrates the vilest deeds in such a mundane tone that you almost forget what he is talking about Here is Benvenuto’s forth murder the killing of Pompeo a rival goldsmithI drew a little dagger with a sharpened edge and breaking the line of his defenders laid my hand upon his breast so uickly and coolly that none of them were able to prevent me Then I aimed to strike him in the face; but fright made him turn his head round; and I stabbed him just beneath the ear I only gave two blows for he fell stone dead by the second I had not meant to kill him; but as the saying goes knocks are not dealt by measureBesides the tone of that passage the most amazing thing for me is that he aimed for Pompeo’s head but professed he didn’t mean to kill him The guy was seriously nuts When I reread the above excerpt I think I ought to loathe such a man who can both commit a murder and then talk about it so coolly But Cellini’s ego and his personality are so exaggerated that I have trouble thinking of him as a real person With all his misadventures crimes vanities boasts and disputes he seems like a character invented by Dickens or Cervantes than a man I can identify with In this I couldn’t help being reminded of Trump who is relentlessly egotistical and cruel but who escapes normal conseuences because he seems like a caricature than a human being Because Cellini is focused on his own doings the world of the Renaissance stays mostly in the background Sometimes it is easy to forget the setting entirely since Benvenuto is one of those rare timeless personalities But at other times the great difference between his world and mine was simply alarming One night during dinner for example his friend brought a prostitute; out of respect for his friend Benvenuto refused her advances; but after those two went to bed Benvenuto seduced the prostitute’s 14 year old serving girl The next morning he woke up with the bubonic plague Another time when he was sick the best doctors in Rome instructed him that he couldn’t drink any water His condition got worse and worse—doubtless due to dehydration—until finally disobeying their orders he drank a pitcher of water and felt immediately better The doctors were stunned The doctors had better luck on another occasion though When Benvenuto got a metal splinter in his eye a doctor successfully flushed it out by slicing open live pigeons and letting their blood rush into his eye These are just a taste of some of Benvenuto’s anecdotes His life was enviously exciting—indeed it’s rather amazing he lived so long since he had many close calls with death When he wasn’t being poisoned or fighting off highway bandits he was suffering illness injury and imprisonment And amidst all this he managed to attain the highest reputation and skill as an artist and also to write the most important autobiography of his century If being a Renaissance Man means living life to the fullest Cellini is a prime exampleIf you are planning on taking a trip to Italy or just want to learn about the Renaissance I cannot recommend this book highly enough I listened to the audiobook version while I was in Rome Cellini was narrating the time he defended the Castel Sant'Angelo during the 1527 sack of Rome As Cellini boasted about his heroic deeds—he would have you believe he defended the castle single handedly—I turned a corner and found myself face to face with that very castle It was one of the most memorable moments of my reading life All men who have accomplished anything worthwhile should set down the story of their own lives with their own hands But they should wait before undertaking so delicate an enterprise until they have passed the age of 40 says Benvenuto Cellini 1500 1571 in the opening chapter of this book The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini first published in Italy in 1728 This is one of the earliest classic autobiographies in the world eclipsed only by the likes of Saint Augustine's Confessions 3 stars Babur's The Baburnama Memoirs of Babur Prince Emperor and Marcus Aurelius' MeditationsBenvenuto Cellini was an Italian artist who became a friend to Leonardo de Vinci 1452 1519 and Michaelangelo 1475 1564 These are reasons enough for me to pick this book in a second hand bookstore a couple of years back Well aside from the fact that this is included in the 501 Must Read Books I enjoy reading memoirs and autobiographies especially those of world renowned personalities but for some reason not known to me Cellini was 58 years old when he wrote this memoir or autobiography and first I thought it would be a difficult read but the edition was really easy to understand and because of the many interesting events that happened in Cellini's life and his tongue in cheek meaning candid and honest telling of his life the book is engaging and definitely worth reading Imagine Cellini even exposed himself in telling the murder that he committed despite the fact that he was a religious person The other interesting part of this book is the supernatural experience that he had while imprisoned in the Castle of St Angelo in Rome In particular this autobiography should be a must read book for anybody who is interested on renaissance art because it reads like a who's who of that world Cellini was a goldsmith and a sculptor although his only popular sculptor is the bronze statue of Perseus Holding the Head of Medusa and it looks like this To read this one wonders how Cellini survived to age 20 much less age 70 He is constantly killing and being attacked wenching his models contracting hideous illnesses or noting in passing the constant unexpected death of others and being betrayed by this account or insulting others It's an endless exhausting cycle such that even Cellini had to notice its futility and danger One has to wonder how much he exaggerates aside from the demonology and weather controlling it seems so routine for people to go around armed and attacking for minor insults and then dying of a scratch Then there is his strange attitude to his patrons on the one hand he seems largely unable to criticize them or the system despite wallowing in their corruption and wealth surely the King of France wasn't all that and given the sheer servility ignobility criminality of the popes he deals with his tolerance of them is astounding but on the other hand he almost goes out of his way to mess with themWell it's fun in small doses the constant tumult of Cellini's life suggests that the constant murder assault theft large gifts we read of in picaresues or stories like the Decameron are much realistic than we give them credit for and it's pretty cool to look at the Wikipedia article and see images of the works he labors over at such length in his autobiography If you want people to be reading your autobiography almost than five hundred years later write as entertaining a book as this one A treasure Italians do it better don't they? Well I think I just found myself a new role model of self confidenceBenvenuto Cellini was first and foremost a goldsmith and a sculptor but he made himself known and appreciated also as a flute player a draftsman and a talented writer He was nonetheless a brave soldier and a clever strategist Of course that for the most part of his autobiography he blows his own trumpet but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it It's a firsthand account of his experience in the Rome of Clement VII the France of Francis I and the Florence of Cosimo de’ Medici I'm fascinated with his life and works of art He was a daredevil who stuck at nothing to accomplish his desires even if this meant murder The story itself is fascinating a rare glimpse into the world of a Renaissance artist larger than life Tales of early apprenticeships family crises exiles revenge plagues and invasions imprisonments and adventurous escapes necromancy and a legion of devils which he and a conjuror invoked in the Colosseum mistresses love affairs and charges of immorality supernatural visions and angelic protection royal and religious patronage poisonings all this and Now I so want to visit Florence and Rome and Vienna and all the other places where his works are exhibited I have never read a book written in 1558 before Benvenuto Cellini was born in Florence on 3 Nov 1500 and died on 13 Feb 1571 He began his autobiography in 1558 and it ended abruptly just before his last trip to Pisa about 1563 He apparently was a talented goldsmith sculptor and was also a flute player The first part of the book tells about the battles between Benvenuto and his father His father was a musician and wanted Benvenuto to follow in his footsteps He taught him to play but Benvenuto wanted to be an artist He left Florence when he was 16 to study goldsmithing in Pisa The story of his life is very interesting as he was a musician goldsmith sculptor and a soldier This book reads like a novel He mostly likely exaggerated his abilities but his art is in museum today so one can evaluate for oneself His patron was Cosimo de Medici of Florence Pope Clement VII and Pope Paul III along with Francis I of France In the story I got the feeling he felt some key church people were against him and he would flee to another city for awhile He writes in a complacent way of how he contemplated his murders before carrying them out Apparently he murder about 5 people He was in and out of prison as well as in and out of the Vatican He goes into detail about the art he created and also a good deal about life in general in the 1500 I learned a great deal and enjoyed the style of his writing I read this as an audio book; Robert Whitfield did a good job with all the Italian names If you are interested in art history or history you will enjoy this book I was expecting something like Dürer's Travel Reports or Leonardo's Journal Descriptions of people artworks techniues and innovations However Cellini's autobiography is entirely different In a sense it is somewhat comparable to Casanova's autobiographyAside from being one of the foremost mannerist sculptors Cellini is a hothead who is extremely proud of himself an easily insulted Even when we consider the standard of those days when people had a different notion about justice honor and the value of individual life when civil war was raging and bravi were making travelling in Italy with precious jewels a true adventureSo Cellini writes about killing roughly 10 people in his life for various personal reasons aside from numerous others he killd in war He brags about raping and beating up women he hints at being a pederast impregnates 13 year olds that he leaves without support and deliberately maimes people He threatens people undermines court procedures and parttakes in fraud He feels constantly undervalued insulted and slandered and acts with bitter revenge In short he is one of the least likable people you will ever read about and has in common with one of Shakespeare's villains than with a contemporary man Despite all this it is interesting to get a view of Italy in the age of Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi Sometimes the technicalities a a bit of a drag sometimes he is just a bit too full of himself but after all this is a curious and worthwhile read if you're interested in history

Vita di Benvenuto di Maestro Giovanni Cellini fiorentino,
  • Hardcover
  • Vita di Benvenuto di Maestro Giovanni Cellini fiorentino, scritta, per lui medesimo, in Firenze
  • Benvenuto Cellini
  • 05 September 2014
  • 9781360748658