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The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,216 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
First published in 1910, the edition includes an introduction and notes.
Paperback, 328 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by Echo Library (first published 1558)
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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 michaelangelesque character standing nearby, ready to catch her in his powerful arms.

I was in Florence when I was
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 exquisite talent and his work plans. Were it not for this text we would know ...more


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 reason
Roy Lotz
All men of whatsoever quality 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 questions more difficult than they look. After reading this book, for example, I have grown quite enamored of Benvenuto Cellini, even though he had many ugly sides to his
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Memoirs)
"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 st ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 routi ...more
حسين إسماعيل
السيرة الذاتية لبنفينوتو تشيليني (١٥٠٠-١٥٧١)

أظنّ أهمّية هذا العمل التاريخية تفوق كلّ شيء.

تعتبر السيرة من أهم الأعمال التي وصلتنا من عصر النهضة المتأخر، خصوصًا وأنها تنقل لنا روح "الفرد النهضوي" المفعم بالتفاؤل والحيوية والطمع لإرضاء الذات عن طريق الأعمال الفنية والأدبية. بنفينوتو كان نحاتًا ورسامًا وصائغًا وجنديًا وينظم الشعر أحيانًا، وكان ملتزمًا بالتعاليم المسيحية كذلك.
بنفينوتو يؤرخ لزمنٍ محوريّ في تاريخ أوروبا، وقد كان معاصرًا لمايكل آنجلو ودافنشي ورافاييل أوربينو، وكلّهم من الفنانين الذين خل
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography, italy
בנוונוטו צ'ליני נחשב לאחד מגדולי הצורפים של הרנסנס האיטלקי. לא ברור לי מי קבע את העובדה הזו והאם היא מבוססת על עדויותיו העצמיות המשבחות את עצמו ואת איכות עבודתו באוטוביוגרפיה הזו שלפנינו או שאכן נמצאו לכך ראיות. בין כה, אני לא הצלחתי למצוא צילומים או תמונות של שלל יצירותיו בהן הוא מתפאר במהלך האוטוביוגרפיה ואני חייבת להסתמך על עדותו העצמית שנמסרת לקורא בבטחון עצמי החלטי ובלתי ניתן לערעור

נולד ב- 1500, מת ב - 1571 בנוונוטו צ'ליני בנו של ארכיטקט ומוזיקאי, בחר לאכזב את אביו וללכת אחר נטיות ליבו להי
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italian, memoirs
Italians do it better, don't they? Well, I think I just found myself a new role model of self-confidence.
Benvenuto 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 th
Absolument génial. Ce livre va inspirer Stendhal. Une vie incroyable d'un contemporain de Michel ange, léonard de vinci. L'évasion du château saint ange vaut le détour.
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful autobiography- fascinating descriptions of the bronze sculpture technique, captivating blending of the events of a reckless personal life with historical realities of later Italian Renaissance, lovely contours of a spirit that imprinted itself on so many works of art !
The simple and unsophisticated writing style of this biography allows us easily grasp images of one the greatest talented Italian artists whose art will enchant our senses with forms and meanings.
" I gave all the
Jay Daze
If you want people to be reading your autobiography almost more than five hundred years later, write as entertaining a book as this one. A treasure.
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for_soul, cult_stud
На редкость занимательное чтение :)

С одной стороны - необычайно одаренный творец, настоящий "человек Эпохи Возрождения". Скульптор, ювелир, писатель и поэт, музыкант, архитектор, оружейных дел мастер, стрелок и артиллерист, а также обладатель ещё десятка талантов и умений.

С другой стороны - человек с достаточно мерзким характером, который с гордостью описывает свои нелицеприятные похождения. Возможно, в этом есть доля преувеличенного хвастовства, т.к. автор описывал себя 20-30 летнего тогда, к
אני לא נוהג לכתוב סקירות או לדרג, אבל האוטוביוגרפיה הכל כך טובה הזאת הפתיעה אותי, להלן:

הצורף, פסל, משורר, אסיר וחייל השחצן, אלים, גוזמאי ולעתים אולי קצת שקרן בנוונוטו צ'ליני (1500-1571) נחשב לאמן הצורפות הגדול ביותר של הרנסנס האיטלקי. בהתחשב בגאווה העצמית הכבירה שחש צ'ליני כלפי כשרונו, יש מן האירוניה בעובדה שמעטות הן עבודותיו ששרדו וקיימות כיום, ושהוא מפורסם בעקר בזכות האוטוביוגרפיה.

זהו מסמך ייחודי ומרתק בכמה רמות: חשיפה נמרצת וכנה של אופי מורכב ומסובך; לטקסט חשיבות הסטורית בשל תאור חיי האמן בן
Apr 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Cellini is a gas and tells his story (supercalabragadocious) and all the while, you learn about what Italy was like for an artist in his time. I like to read this aloud to my family as if I myself am Benvenuto. Free comedy.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting something like Dürer's Travel Reports or Leonardo's Journal. Descriptions of people, artworks, techniques and innovations. However Cellini's autobiography is entirely different. In a sense it is somewhat comparable to Casanova's autobiography...

Aside 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 a
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-uni
Benvenuto Cellini is one crazy nutter.

I was really glad I got one of his sculptures (the Saliera) assigned in uni for a presentation and a ten page essay, since there is a lot of firsthand information in his autobiography.
Athough I had to take all he writes, especially concerning his art, with a pinch of salt, as Cellini sure knows how to sell himself hahaha!
Such a hilarious man.
So insane what adventures he goes on, everything he experiences, read for yourselves!
And marvel!
Had to keep in mind
Feb 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mason gross students, goodfellas
an invaluable text that provides a unique look into the high renaissance period. cellini was a sculptor and goldsmith not quite on par with the greats like da vinci or michelangelo, but appears to be well received enough. he also had an explosive temper, killed several people in duels, survived wars, the plague, prison, poison, and made all sorts of colorful enemies throughout his life and career. while cellini himself was certainly a scumbag, its no surprise that the biggest scumbags of them al ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
Relatively enjoyable - his viewpoint is not to trust in the least, according to him, he was more or less the best artist who ever lived, and all his enemies were idiots or worse. The book is great fun when he describes how he plotted to murder his enemies, how he got into fights about basically nothing, and how he single-handedly escaped from prison.

Sometimes drags _a lot_ when he describes politics.
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, nonfiction
If you are going to take the time to write an autobiography, then by gosh you outta make it the story of a life time. Boy does Cellini have his Renaissance swagger on. If I ever write my autobiography, I hope I am half as inventive. 90% bravado + 8% maybe it happened + 2 % wow, this is a firsthand account from the 1500's. I can't explain it - but I really love this crazy book.
Oct 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Art history can be boring but this is art history first hand. If you want to go back to the renaissance this is the book for you. Celllini knew his own talent and did us all a great favor by giving us his account of the time.
S. Miles Lotman

One of the great godfathers of the memoir genre is arguably Benvenuto Cellini, a Florentine polymath of the High Renaissance, who penned his life story over five years between 1558 and 1563 when the sculptor was in his early sixties. No doubt one of the inspirations for the autobiography was to present his side of the story, a defense of lifestyle anticipating whatever disagreeable remembrances his many enemies (legion in numbers) might put down in writing. Though Cellini does his very best to p
Matt McCormick
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you seriously enjoy Renaissance art or history then you should work your way through Cellini’s 16th century autobiography. The sculpture of the bronze Perseus in the Loggia dei Lanzi in the Piazza Della Signoria in Florence where it stands still today was important, talented, violent and arrogant enough to write about himself.

Reading it is work as one must plow through endless self aggrandizing descriptions of the whole worlds love for the authors talents or the evil depredations of the unco
De Florentijnse kunstenaar Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1570) beschrijft in deze autobiografie, naar schatting opgetekend in de jaren tussen 1558 en 1566, zijn avontuurlijke leven als goudsmid en beeldhouwer in Italië en Frankrijk. Hij werkte voor beroemde en beruchte opdrachtgevers als paus Paulus III (uit de Farnese-familie), de hertog Cosimo I de'Medici en koning Frans I van Frankrijk.
Vasari kenschetst Cellini in zijn 'Vite' (1568) als volgt: 'in alles wat hij deed moedig, trots, levendig, snel re
My parents bought us a set of classic books over fifty years ago. It had some books that I read and others like Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini that never interested me at all. I couldn't imagine why it was even in the set. I'd never heard of it from anywhere.

A few years ago we went to Italy and on our travels stayed in an apartment in Florence. The owner of the building claimed that it had been the family home of Benvenuto Cellini. That was when a connection was made across time and space -
Jean Poulos
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 Benven ...more
Peter Crofts
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the funniest autobiographies ever written though not deliberately meant to be. Cellini is a complete blowhard who seriously over estimates his own importance and brilliance. If any of these recollections are accurate you can just imagine the puzzled or contemptuous looks on the faces' of the other people in the scene once loudmouth exits stage left. His interactions with popes and nobility are particularly amusing. It is a fascinating read in terms of 16th century Florence, Rome and Franc ...more
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Allá por los años cincuenta vi una película que se llamó "El príncipe de los Zorros," y en el papel del muchacho macho Tyrone Power. El argumento se basaba en una novela con el mismo titulo y que, a su vez, había tomado las anécdotas de la "Autobiografía" de Benvenuto Cellini. El libro "El Príncipe..." se encontraba en el librero de la tía Fela, y, por supuesto, lo lei. La película y el libro me parecieron maravillosos, sin embargo, ahora que he leído el original, no me parece tan divertido. Cel ...more
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Benvenuto Cellini was a Renaissance era goldsmith and sculptor, contemporary of Michelangelo, Vasari and others.

Cellini's autobiographyis a treasure, in that it relates personal stories of some the best known names of Renaissance Italy. Cellini parties with Michelangelo, argues with Pope Clement VII, and creates works of art for Francis I of France and Cosimo I de' Medici.

Even better than the Art History lesson, however, is reading Cellini's autobiography as the story of a cocky and self-assured
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would love to see someone try to make a movie, even a movie trilogy, out of this book. It's so action-packed and some of the things that happen in the book are so crazy that you'd swear that such things were only possible in dreams, wild imaginings, and movies.

There's so much that happens to Cellini over the course of one lifetime that it's hard to believe that it actually happened; it's even crazier that some of Cellini's autobiography has been confirmed by historians, though if you want to
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add page count and correct credits 3 12 Jul 01, 2017 01:20PM  
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“Withersoever the wheel of Fortune turns, Virtue stands firm upon her feet.” 5 likes
“I assert that the art of sculpture, among all the arts connected with design, is at least seven times greater than any other, for the following reason: why, sir, a statue of true sculpture ought to have seven points of view, which ought all to boast equal excellence.” 0 likes
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