In the Sack of Rome, Spanish and German troops led by the Duke of Bourbon sack Rome, forcing Pope Clement VII to make peace with Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, marking the end of the High Renaissance. The Pope grows a beard in mourning.
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.