Benvenuto Cellini Florentine Mannerist sculptor, goldsmith, draughtstman, flautist, soldier, writer and poet

born in Florence (1500) and died in Florence (1571), aged 71

The Bargello Florence see all

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna see all

Loggia dei Lanzi Piazza della Signoria see all

Bronze Sculpture


Portrait Bust


1500 in Florence

November 3

November 3

1516 aged 16 in Florence and Siena

Benvenuto Cellini is banished from Florence for six months for his part in a street fight and lives in Siena.

1519 aged 19 in Rome

Benvenuto Cellini moves to Rome at the age of 19.

1523 aged 23

January 14

Benvenuto Cellini is sentenced to pay 12 staia of flour for relations with a boy named Domenico di ser Giuliano da Ripa.

1527 aged 27 in Florence


May 6


1528 aged 28

1529 aged 29 in Naples

Cecchino Cellini kills a Corporal of the Roman Watch and in turn is wounded by an arquebusier (rifleman), later dying of his wound. His brother, Benvenuto Cellini, kills his killer, then flees to Naples to escape the consequences of an affray with a notary, Ser Benedetto, whom he had wounded.

1530 aged 30

April 2

Jacopo della Barca conducts Benvenuto Cellini to an audience with Clement VII. The Pope is indisposed in bed with an illness, attended by Jacopo Salviati and the Archbishop of Capua. Benvenuto asks for absolution for a theft he had committed during the Sack of Rome, when he stole some grains of gold worth a hundred and fifty ducats, in recompense for moneys that were not paid him for work he had carried out on behalf of the Pope. The Pope gives his absolution.

1531 aged 31

Cellini directs the fusiliers at the Castel Sant'Angelo to fire their cannons at the Duke of Orange during the Sack of Rome, and wounds him.

1534 aged 34

Benvenuto Cellini kills Pompeo of Milan, a rival goldsmith.

1537 aged 37

Upon returning from a visit to the French court, Benvenuto Cellini is imprisoned on a charge (apparently false) of having embezzled the gems of the pope's tiara during the war. He is confined to the Castel Sant'Angelo, escapes, is recaptured, and treated with great severity; he is in daily expectation of death on the scaffold. The intercession of Pier Luigi's wife, and especially that of the Cardinal d'Este of Ferrara, eventually secures Cellini's release, in gratitude for which he gives d'Este a splendid cup.

1540 aged 40

Benvenuto Cellini works on a sculpture called Saliera over the course of three years until 1543.

1545 aged 45

Benvenuto Cellini creates a bronze sculpture called Perseus with the Head of Medusa .

Benvenuto Cellini creates a bronze sculpture called Bust of Duke Cosimo I .

1548 aged 48 in Florence

In Florence, Benvenuto Cellini is accused by a woman named Margherita, for having certain familiarities with her son, Vincenzo.

1556 aged 56

February 26

Cellini's apprentice Fernando di Giovanni di Montepulciano accuses his mentor of having sodomised him many times. This time the penalty was a hefty fifty golden scudi fine, and four years of prison, remitted to four years of house arrest thanks to the intercession of the Medicis.

1558 aged 58

Benvenuto Cellini begins to write his Autobiography.

1562 aged 62

Benvenuto Cellini marries a servant, Piera Parigi.

1563 aged 63 in Pisa

Benvenuto Cellini travels to Pisa for the last time.

1571 aged 71 in Florence

February 13

May 13

Benvenuto Cellini dies in Florence and is buried with great pomp in the church of the Santissima Annunziata.


Pietro Torrigiano (1472-1528) sculptor


Antonio di Sandro goldsmith


Fracastoro Sienese goldsmith


Giovanni Cellini musician, ivory worker, organ maker, harpsichord maker and engineer


Michelangelo (1475-1564) Florentine High Renaissance military engineer, sculptor, painter, architect and poet

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