(b Florence, Nov 3, 1500; d Florence, Feb 13, 1571).
Italian goldsmith, medallist, sculptor and writer. He was one of the foremost Italian Mannerist artists of the 16th century, working in Rome for successive popes, in France for Francis I and in Florence for Cosimo I de’ Medici. Among his most famous works are the elaborate gold figural salt made for Francis I (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.; see fig. below) and the bronze statue of Perseus (Florence, Loggia Lanzi). His Vita is among the most compelling autobiographies written by an artist and is generally considered to be an important work of Italian literature.
Cellini came from a middle-class Florentine family. His grandfather Andrea was a mason and his father Giovanni Cellini (1451–1528), who married Elisabetta Granacci in 1480, was a well-educated and expert carpenter who built the scaffolding put up to allow Leonardo da Vinci to paint the Battle of Anghiari (destr.) and who was a member of the committee responsible for choosing the site for Michelangelo’s statue of ...