Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571)
Benvenuto Cellini was a painter and sculptor who lived and worked during the Italian Renaissance. Cellini sculptures were primarily in gold and silver, but several pieces were of a much grander scale, his most distinguished being Perseus Holding the Head of Medusa, work of terrifying beauty and one of the typical monuments of the Italian Renaissance. After being banished from his native Florence as the result of a brawl, he received his early artistic training from goldsmiths.
In 1519, Cellini moved to Rome where he painted and sculpted most of his lasting works, claiming a deep devotion to the tradition and style of Michelangelo. Most of what is known about Cellini comes from his autobiography, with its vivid picture of a Renaissance craftsman, ensconced in hubris, independent, and boastful of his alleged feats in love, war and art. Cellini remains one of the most important Mannerist sculptors, and his Perseus sculpture is a Florentine masterpiece.
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