Benvenuto Cellini

All works of nature created by God in heaven and on earth are works of sculpture.

Benvenuto Cellini (November 3 1500February 13 1571) was a Florentine writer, goldsmith and sculptor. He is now best known as the author of a revealing autobiography.



SourcedEdit

  • Dico, che l'arte della Scultura infra tutte l'arte, che s'interviene disegno, è maggiore sette volte, perchè una statua di Scultura deve avere otto vedute, e conviene che la sieno tutte di egual bontà.
    • 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.
    • Letter to Benedetto Varchi, January 28, 1546, cited from G. P. Carpani (ed.) Vita di Benvenuto Cellini (Milano: Nicolo Bettoni, 1821) vol. 3, p. 183; translation from Thomas Nugent (trans.) The Life of Benvenuto Cellini, a Florentine Artist (London: Hunt and Clarke, 1828) vol. 2, p. 264.
  • La Pittura non è altro, che o albero o uomo o altra cosa, che si specchi in un fonte. La differenza, che è dalla Scultura alla Pittura è tanta, quanto è dalla ombra e la cosa, che fa l'ombra.
    • Painting, in fact, is nothing else much than a tree, a man, or any other object, reflected in the water. The distinction between sculpture and painting, is as great as between the shadow and the substance.
    • Letter to Benedetto Varchi, January 28, 1546, cited from G. P. Carpani (ed.) Vita di Benvenuto Cellini (Milano: Nicolo Bettoni, 1821) vol. 3, p. 185; translation from Thomas Nugent (trans.) The Life of Benvenuto Cellini, a Florentine Artist (London: Hunt and Clarke, 1828) vol. 2, p. 265.
  • Quando il povero dona al ricco il Diavolo se ne ride?[1]
    • When the poor give to the rich, the devil laughs.[2]
    • Autobiography, vol. 1, ch. 4
  • Dissi, a quelle parole, che gli uomini che volevan fare a lor modo, bisognava che si facessino un mondo a lor modo, perché in questo non si usava cosí.
    • I said, in response to his words, that men who wanted to do things in their own way had better make a world in their own way, because in this world things are not done like this.
    • Autobiography, vol. 1, ch. 79 (1558-66); translation from Benvenuto Cellini (trans. Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella) My Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) p. 132.
  • Sí che vegga il mondo, quando la fortuna vuol torre a 'ssassinare uno uomo, quante diverse vie la piglia.
    • Let all the world witness how many different means Fortune employs when she wishes to destroy a man.
    • Autobiography, vol. 1, ch. 113; translation from Benvenuto Cellini (trans. Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella) My Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) p. 196.
  • Gli è ben vero che si dice Tu imparerai per un'altra volta: questo non vale perchè la vien sempre con modi diversi e non mai immaginati.[3]
    • I own it is a common saying, that every reverse of fortune teaches us how to behave on another occasion; but that is not true, as the circumstances which attend each event are different, and such as could not be foreseen.[4]
    • Autobiography, vol. 2, ch. 9
  • Tutte le opera, che si veggono fatte dallo Iddio della Natura in cielo ed in terra, sono tutte di Scultura.
    • All works of nature created by God in heaven and on earth are works of sculpture.
    • Treatise on Sculpture (1564), opening words, cited from G. P. Carpani (ed.) Vita di Benvenuto Cellini (Milano: Nicolo Bettoni, 1821) vol. 3, p. 199; translation from Jean Paul Richter (ed.) The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (London: Phaidon, 1970) vol. 1, p. 90.

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Last modified on 9 April 2014, at 12:54