Cellini. Saltcellar for Francis I of France. Enamel on gold. 1543. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

VASARI ON DESIGN: SCULPTORS
A Brief Bibliography

Titles are in order by sculptor as listed in this portion of the "Academy of Design."

Part I: Benvenuto Cellini

Vasari's short Life of Cellini is respectful and generous, especially considering what Cellini wrote about him:

  This bad turn had been done me by Giorgetto Vassellario of Arezzo, the painter; perchance in recompense 
for many benefits conferred on him. I had harboured him in Rome and provided for his costs, while he had 
turned my whole house upside down; for the man was subject to a species of dry scab, which he was always 
in the habit of scratching with his hands. It happened, then, that sleeping in the same bed as an 
excellent workman, named Manno, who was in my service, when he meant to scratch himself, he tore the skin 
from one of Manno's legs with his filthy claws, the nails of which he never used to cut. The said Manno left 
my service, and was resolutely bent on killing him. I made the quarrel up, and afterwards got Giorgio into 
Cardinal de'Medici's household, and continually helped him. For these deserts, then, he told Duke Alessandro 
that I had abused his Excellency, and had bragged I meant to be the first to leap upon the walls of Florence 
with his foes the exiles. (Life of Benvenuto Cellini. Translated by John Addington Symonds, 1888: 171-172). 
More  Cellini adventures here.

On Cellini

Does Leonardo have an opera? No. Does Raphael have an opera? No! Does Michelangelo have an opera? NO! But there's Benvenuto Cellini by Hector Berlioz, which premiered in Paris September 10, 1838. Here's the Overture. Catch it at one of those Met Opera HD broadcasts.

Margaret A. Gallucci. Benvenuto Cellini: Sexuality, Masculinity, and Artistic Identity in Renaissance Italy. New York, 2003.
Book Review: Thomas V. Cohen. International Journal of the Classical Tradition. Vol. 13, No. 2 (Fall, 2006): 318-320.

Beth L. Holman. "For "Honor and Profit": Benvenuto Cellini's Medal of Clement VII and His Competition with Giovanni Bernardi.: Renaissance Quarterly. Vol. LVIII, no. 2 (Summer, 2005): 512-575.

Victoria C. Gardner. "Homines non nascuntur, sed figuntur: Benvenuto Cellini's Vita and Self-Presentation of the Renaissance Artist." The Sixteenth Century Journal. Vol. 28, No. 2 (Summer, 1997): 447-465.

Web Gallery of Art.

Cellini Online.

Perseus and Medusa.




Return to VASARI ON DESIGN: SCULPTORS


Return to Vasari's Lives of the Artists


This Web Site Created and Maintained by Adrienne DeAngelis