Summary of the Life of Benvenuto Cellini

Summary of the Life of Benvenuto Cellini

B. Cellini The
Life of Benvenuto Cellini The
Life of Benvenuto, the son of Maestro Giovanni Cellini, a Florentine written by himself in Florence
Memoirs of Benvenuto Cellini are written in the first person. In the opinion of the renowned jeweler and sculptor, every person who has accomplished something valiant is obligated to tell about himself to the world – but it is only after forty years that he should start this good cause. Benvenuto took up his pen in the fifty-ninth year of his life, and firmly decided to narrate only that which relates to himself. (The reader of the notes should be reminded that Benvenuto had a rare ability to distort both his own names and geographical names.)
The first book is devoted to the period from 1500 to 1539. Benvenuto reports that he was born in a simple but noble family. In ancient times, under the leadership of Julius Caesar, a brave military commander named Fiorino from Cellino served. When the city was laid on the Arno River, Caesar decided to call him Florence, wanting to pay tribute to the companion whom he distinguished among all others. The genus Cellini had many possessions, and in Ravenna even a castle. The ancestors of Benvenuto lived in the Val d’Ambra, like grandees. One day they had to send a young man Cristofano to Florence, because he started a feud with his neighbors. His son Andrea became very knowledgeable in the field of art and taught this craft of children. Especially succeeded

in it, Giovanni – Benvenuto’s father. Giovanni could choose a girl with a rich dowry, but married for love – on the Madonna Elizabetta Granacchi. They had no children for eighteen years, and then a girl was born. Good Giovanni was no longer waiting for his son, and when the Madonna Elisabetta was released from the burden by a male infant, the happy father called him “Desired” (Benvenuto). Signs predicted that the boy would have a great future. He was only three years old when he caught a huge scorpion and miraculously survived. At five years old he could see a small animal resembling a lizard in the flame of the hearth, and his father explained that it was a salamander, which he had never seen in his memory. And by the age of fifteen he had accomplished so many amazing deeds that for lack of space they should be kept quiet. Signs predicted that the boy would have a great future. He was only three years old when he caught a huge scorpion and miraculously survived. At five years old he could see a small animal resembling a lizard in the flame of the hearth, and his father explained that it was a salamander, which he had never seen in his memory. And by the age of fifteen he had accomplished so many amazing deeds that for lack of space they should be kept quiet. Signs predicted that the boy would have a great future. He was only three years old when he caught a huge scorpion and miraculously survived. At five years old he could see a small animal resembling a lizard in the flame of the hearth, and his father explained that it was a salamander, which he had never seen in his memory. And by the age of fifteen he had accomplished so many amazing deeds that for lack of space they should be kept quiet.
Giovanni Cellini was glorified by many arts, but most of all he liked to play the flute and tried to entice this older son. Benvenuto hated the accursed music and took up the instrument, only not to upset his good father. Entering the training for goldsmiths master Antonio di Sandro, he surpassed all the other young men in the shop and began to earn well with his labors. It so happened that the sisters offended him by secretly giving away his new coat and cloak to his younger brother, and Benvenuto, with vexation, left Florence for Pisa, but continued to work hard there. Then he moved to Rome to study antiquities, and made some very beautiful gizmos, trying in every way to follow the canons of the divine Michelangelo Buonarroti, from which he never retreated. Returning at the urgent request of his father to Florence, he struck everyone with his art, but there were envious persons who began to stipulate it in every possible way. Benvenuto could not restrain himself: he punched one of them with his fist in the temple, and since the latter did not stop and went into a fight, he brushed him off with a dagger, without causing much harm. The parents of this Gerardo immediately ran to complain to the Council of eight – Benvenuto innocently sentenced to exile, and had again to go to Rome. One noble lady ordered him a frame for a diamond lily. And his friend Lucanolo – a capable jeweler, but of a kind of low and mean – cut out at that time a vase and boasted that he would receive a lot of gold coins. But Benvenuto was ahead of the arrogant villain in everything: he was paid much more generously for the trifle than for the big thing, and when he himself undertook to make a vase for one bishop, he surpassed Lucanolo in this art. Pal Clement, barely seeing the vase, blazed to Benvenuto with great love. Even greater fame brought him silver jugs, which he forged for the famous surgeon Yakomo da Karpi: showing them, he told stories that they were works of ancient masters. This small business brought Benvenuto great fame, although he did not gain much in the money.
After a terrible pestilence, the survivors began to love each other – so formed in Rome, the commonwealth of sculptors, painters, jewelers. And the great Michelangelo of Siena praised Benvenuto for his giftedness – he especially liked the medal, where he depicted Hercules tearing the jaws of the lion. But then the war broke out, and the commonwealth broke up. The Spaniards led by Bourbon came to Rome. Pal Clement in fear fled to the castle of Saint Angela, and Benvenuto followed him. During the siege he was assigned to guns and accomplished many exploits: with one well-aimed shot killed Bourbon, and the second wounded the Prince of Orange. It so happened that when the kick fell down a barrel with stones and almost knocked out Cardinal Farnese, Benvenuto could hardly prove his innocence, although it would have been much better if he had got rid of this cardinal. Pal Clement so trusted his jeweler that he ordered the gold tiaras to be melted in order to save them from the greed of the Spaniards. When Benvenuto finally arrived in Florence, there was also a plague, and his father told him to flee to Mantua. Upon his return, he learned that all his relatives had died – only the younger brother and one of the sisters were left. The brother, who became a great warrior, served with the Florentine Duke Leszandro. In a casual skirmish, he was wounded with a bullet from an arquebus, and he died in the hands of Benvenuto, who tracked down the killer and properly avenged. who became a great warrior, served with the Florentine Duke Leszandro. In a casual skirmish, he was wounded with a bullet from an arquebus, and he died in the hands of Benvenuto, who tracked down the killer and properly avenged. who became a great warrior, served with the Florentine Duke Leszandro. In a casual skirmish, he was wounded with a bullet from an arquebus, and he died in the hands of Benvenuto, who tracked down the killer and properly avenged.
Papa, meanwhile, moved to Florence with war, and friends persuaded Benvenuto to leave the city, so as not to quarrel with his Holiness. At first everything was fine, and Benvenuto was given the position of a bull-bearer, which brought two hundred scant a year. But when he asked for a position of seven hundred scanties, the envious ones intervened, especially Milan Pompeo, who tried to kill the cup ordered by Pope from Benvenuto. Enemies slipped daddy worthless jeweler Tobbia, and that was entrusted to prepare a gift for the French king. Once Benvenuto accidentally hit his friend, and Pompeo immediately ran to the pope with the news, as if killed by Tobia. The angry man ordered to grab and hang Benvenuto, so he had to hide in Naples until everything was clear. Clement repented of his injustice, but still fell ill and soon died, and the Pope elected Cardinal Farnese. Benvenuto quite accidentally met with Pompeo, who did not want to kill, but it happened. The slanderers tried to set a new father on him, but he said that such artists, the only one of its kind, are not subject to the laws. However, Benvenuto considered it best to retire to Florence for a time, where the Duke of Lessandro did not want to let him go, threatening even with death, but he himself fell victim to the murderer, and Cosimo, the son of the great Giovanni de Medici, became the new duke. Returning to Rome, Benvenuto discovered that envious people had achieved their goal – the Pope, although he had granted him pardon for the murder of Pompeo, turned his heart away from him. Meanwhile Benvenuto was already so glorified that he was summoned to his service by the French king. who did not want to kill, but it happened. The slanderers tried to set a new father on him, but he said that such artists, the only one of its kind, are not subject to the laws. However, Benvenuto considered it best to retire to Florence for a time, where the Duke of Lessandro did not want to let him go, threatening even with death, but he himself fell victim to the murderer, and Cosimo, the son of the great Giovanni de Medici, became the new duke. Returning to Rome, Benvenuto discovered that envious people had achieved their goal – the Pope, although he had granted him pardon for the murder of Pompeo, turned his heart away from him. Meanwhile Benvenuto was already so glorified that he was summoned to his service by the French king. who did not want to kill, but it happened. The slanderers tried to set a new father on him, but he said that such artists, the only one of its kind, are not subject to the laws. However, Benvenuto considered it best to retire to Florence for a time, where the Duke of Lessandro did not want to let him go, threatening even with death, but he himself fell victim to the murderer, and Cosimo, the son of the great Giovanni de Medici, became the new duke. Returning to Rome, Benvenuto discovered that envious people had achieved their goal – the Pope, although he had granted him pardon for the murder of Pompeo, turned his heart away from him. Meanwhile Benvenuto was already so glorified that he was summoned to his service by the French king. the courts are not subject to laws. However, Benvenuto considered it best to retire to Florence for a time, where the Duke of Lessandro did not want to let him go, threatening even with death, but he himself fell victim to the murderer, and Cosimo, the son of the great Giovanni de Medici, became the new duke. Returning to Rome, Benvenuto discovered that envious people had achieved their goal – the Pope, although he had granted him pardon for the murder of Pompeo, turned his heart away from him. Meanwhile Benvenuto was already so glorified that he was summoned to his service by the French king. the courts are not subject to laws. However, Benvenuto considered it best to retire to Florence for a time, where the Duke of Lessandro did not want to let him go, threatening even with death, but he himself fell victim to the murderer, and Cosimo, the son of the great Giovanni de Medici, became the new duke. Returning to Rome, Benvenuto discovered that envious people had achieved their goal – the Pope, although he had granted him pardon for the murder of Pompeo, turned his heart away from him. Meanwhile Benvenuto was already so glorified that he was summoned to his service by the French king. although he granted him a pardon for the murder of Pompeo, his heart turned away from him. Meanwhile Benvenuto was already so glorified that he was summoned to his service by the French king. although he granted him a pardon for the murder of Pompeo, his heart turned away from him. Meanwhile Benvenuto was already so glorified that he was summoned to his service by the French king.
Together with faithful disciples Benvenuto went to Paris, where he received an audience with the monarch. However, the matter ended: the insidiousness of the enemies and military actions made stay in France impossible. Benvenuto returned to Rome and received many orders. He had to drive one worker out of Perugia for idleness, and he planned to take revenge: whispered to his father that Benvenuto had stolen precious stones during the siege of the castle of Saint Angel and now has a fortune of eighty thousand ducats. The greed of Pagolo da Farnese and his son Pierre Luigi knew no bounds: they ordered to imprison Benvenuto in prison, and when the accusation crumbled, they decided to kill him by all means. King Francis, learning about this injustice, began to work through the Cardinal of Ferrara, so that Benvenuto was released to his service. Castellane castle, a man of noble and kind, treated the prisoner with the greatest participation: he gave an opportunity to walk freely around the castle and engage in his favorite art. In the casemate contained one monk. Using the oversight of Benvenuto, he stole his wax to make keys and escape. Benvenuto vowed all the saints that he was not guilty of the monk’s malice, but Castellan was so angry that he almost lost his mind. Benvenuto began to prepare for an escape and, arranging everything in the best possible way, descended down on the rope bound from the sheet. Unfortunately, the wall around the castle was too high, and he broke, broke his leg. The widow of the Duke of Lessandro, remembering his great labors, agreed to give him shelter, but the insidious enemies did not back down and again escorted Benvenuto to the dungeon, despite the Pope’s promise to spare him. Castellan, completely mad, subjected him to such unheard-of torments that he had already said goodbye to life, but then the Cardinal of Ferrara obtained from the pope an agreement to release the innocent convicted person. In prison, Benvenuto wrote a poem about his suffering – this “capitol” and ends the first book of memoirs.
In the second book, Benvenuto talks about his stay at the court of Francis I and the Florentine Duke Cosimo. Resting a little after the burdens of imprisonment, Benvenuto went to Cardinal Ferrara, taking with him his favorite students – Ascanio, Pagolo-Romans and Pagolo Florentines. On the way, one postmaster wanted to start a quarrel, and Benvenuto only pointed a pischal to him, but the bullet that ricocheted killed the fugitive on the spot, and his sons, trying to take revenge, slightly wounded Pagolo the Roman. Learning of this, the Cardinal of Ferrara thanked the heavens, for he promised the French king to bring Benvenuto. They got to Paris without adventures.
The king took Benvenuto extremely graciously, and this aroused envy of the cardinal, who began to stealthily build up intrigues. He told Benvenuto that the king wants to pay him three hundred meager wages, although for that kind of money it was not worth it to leave Rome either. Deceived in their expectations, Benvenuto said goodbye to the students, and they cried and asked him not to leave them, but he firmly decided to return to his homeland. However, a messenger was sent after him, and the cardinal announced that he would be paid seven hundred scant a year-as much as the painter Leonardo da Vinci received. After seeing the king, Benvenuto uttered a hundred scant to each of the students, and also asked him to give him the Little Nel Castle for the workshop. The king willingly agreed, because the people who lived in the castle were eating their bread for nothing. Benvenuto had to drive out those idlers,
Soon the king and his court came to see the work, and everyone was amazed at the wonderful art of Benvenuto. Benvenuto also planned to make for the king a saltcellar of amazing beauty and a magnificent carved door, the beauty of which these Frenchmen did not see. Unfortunately, it did not occur to him to secure the disposition of Madame de Tampus, who had a great influence on the monarch, and she harbored anger at him. And the people whom he drove out of the castle, initiated a lawsuit against him, and so he was annoyed that he lurked with a dagger and taught them intelligence, but did not kill anyone. To top it all off, Pagolo Miccheri, a Florentine pupil, had entered into fornication with Katerina’s model, had to beat the whore to bruises, although she was still needed to work. Traitor Pagolo Benvenuto forced to marry this French whore, and then every day he called her to him, to draw and sculpt, and at the same time indulged with her carnal pleasure in revenge to the cuckold-husband. Meanwhile, the Cardinal of Ferrara persuaded the King not to pay Benvenuto’s money; The good king could not resist the temptation, because the emperor moved with the army to Paris and the treasury was emptied. Madame de Tamp also continued to build intrigues, and Benvenuto, with pain in his heart, decided to temporarily leave for Italy, leaving the workshop for Ascanio and Pagolo-Roman. The king was whispered that he had taken three precious vases with him, which it was impossible to do, since the law forbade this, so Benvenuto, at the first demand, gave these vases to the traitor Ascanio. because the emperor moved with the army to Paris and the treasury was emptied. Madame de Tamp also continued to build intrigues, and Benvenuto, with pain in his heart, decided to temporarily leave for Italy, leaving the workshop for Ascanio and Pagolo-Roman. The king was whispered that he had taken three precious vases with him, which it was impossible to do, since the law forbade this, so Benvenuto, at the first demand, gave these vases to the traitor Ascanio. because the emperor moved with the army to Paris and the treasury was emptied. Madame de Tamp also continued to build intrigues, and Benvenuto, with pain in his heart, decided to temporarily leave for Italy, leaving the workshop for Ascanio and Pagolo-Roman. The king was whispered that he had taken three precious vases with him, which it was impossible to do, since the law forbade this, so Benvenuto, at the first demand, gave these vases to the traitor Ascanio.
In 1545, Benvenuto arrived in Florence – the only one to help his own sister and her six daughters. The Duke began to squander his caresses, begging him to stay and promising unheard of mercies. Benvenuto agreed and bitterly regretted it. For the workshop, he was given a miserable little house, which he had to patch on the move. The court sculptor Bandinello praised his dignity in every possible way, although his bad craftsmanship could only provoke a grin, – but Benvenuto surpassed himself, casting bronze statue of Perseus. It was a creation so beautiful that people were not tired of marveling at him, and Benvenuto asked the duke for his work ten thousand scantos, and the latter gave only three with a great creak. Many times Benvenuto remembered the magnanimous and generous king, with whom he had so frivolously parted, but there was nothing to correct, for the crafty disciples did everything that he could not return. The duchess, who at first defended Benvenuto before her husband, was extremely angry when the duke, on his advice, refused to give money to the pearls that attracted her, – Benvenuto suffered solely for his honesty, for he could not hide from the duke that these stones should not be bought. As a result, a new large order was received by the incompetent Bandinello, who was given marble for the statue of Neptune. Benvenuto’s troubles sprang up from all sides: a man named Zbietta deceived him in a contract for the sale of a manor, and the wife of this Zbietta poured him into a gravy of the soup, so that he barely survived, although he could not expose the villains. The French queen, who visited her native Florence, wanted to invite him to Paris to make a gravestone for her late husband, but the duke prevented it. There began a pestilential plague, from which the prince died – the best of all the Medici. Only when the tears dried, Benvenuto went to Pisa. (On this phrase, the second book of memoirs ends.)


Summary of the Life of Benvenuto Cellini