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Benvenuto Cellini
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    (November 3, 1500-February 13, 1571)
    Born in Florence, Italy
    Goldsmith, sculptor and painter
    Noted works include ‘Perseus Holding the Head of Medusa,’ ‘Apollo and Hyacinth,’ the Saltcellar of King Francis I of France and ‘The Nymph of Fontainbleu’
    Wrote an autobiography that became a posthumous best-seller
    At 16, he was banished from Florence for dueling.
    He killed two men.
    Little of his work in gold survives, since it was melted down into bullion.
    He frequently clashed with his patrons.
    He fathered a child out of wedlock with one of his models.
    He was imprisoned on charges of embezzling gems from the pope’s tiara (1537).
    His autobiography was heavily embellished.
    He was a court artist for two popes and the king of France.
    One of the men he killed had murdered his brother.
    After Cardinal d’Este intervened to have the embezzlement charges dismissed, he presented the cardinal with a gold cup in gratitude.
    He supported his widowed sister and her six daughters.
    He wrote influential treatises on goldsmithing and sculpture.

Credit: C. Fishel

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