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Benvenuto Cellini
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The first collision between the two had occurred several years before when Pope Clement VII commissioned Cellini to mint his . Now, in an altercation before Duke Cosimo, Bandinelli insultingly stigmatized Benvenuto as guilty of calling out to him Sta cheto, soddomitaccio! (Shut up, you filthy sodomite!); in his autobiography Cellini recalls repelling rather than denying the charge, claiming to be unworthy of such a divine and royal diversion. Certainly his art, often celebratory of the young male form, is a testimonial to his appreciation of that beauty.
His biography omits the four charges against him of sodomy:
At the age of 23 with a boy named Domenico di ser Giuliano da Ripa, an accusation was settled with a small fine (perhaps thanks to his youth at the time).
An accusation in Paris, involving a female lover, which he braved out in court.
In Florence in 1548, Cellini was accused by a women named Margherita, for having certain familiarities with her son, Vincenzo. Perhaps this was a private quarrel, one from which he simply fled, and undeserving of attention.
Finally, in 1556, his apprentice Fernando, after being fired for an altercation, accused his mentor of: (as the indictment read) Cinque anni ha tenuto per suo ragazzo Fernando di Giovanni di Montepulciano, giovanetto con el quale ha usato carnalmente moltissime volte col nefando vitio della soddomia, tenendolo in letto come sua moglie (For five years he kept as his boy Fernando di Giovanni di Montepulciano, a youth whom he used carnally in the abject vice of sodomy numerous instances, keeping him in his bed as a wife.) 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 .
He is also known to have taken some of his female models as mistresses, having an illegitimate daughter with one of them while living in France. After briefly attempting a clerical career, in 1562, he married a servant, with whom he had five children, of which only a son and two daughters survived him.
It is notable that his references to his boy models (and possibly lovers) are more tender and affectionate than his references to women, including his wife. In his sculpture, the male is always more convincingly modelled than the female - his Venus of Fontainebleau, while notable, is unconvincing as a representation of the realistic female body.
During the war with Siena, Cellini was appointed to strengthen the defences of his native city, and, though rather shabbily treated by his ducal patrons, he continued to gain the admiration of his fellow-citizens by the magnificent works which he produced. He died in Florence in and was buried with great pomp in the church of the Annunziata. He had supported in Florence a widowed sister and her six daughters.
Perseus with the Head of Medusa in the Loggia dei Lanzi gallery on the edge of the in ; picture taken after the statue's cleaning and restoration
Besides the works in gold and silver which have been adverted to, Cellini executed several pieces of on a grander scale. The most distinguished of these is the group of " holding the head of ", a work (first suggested by Duke ) now in the at Florence, full of the fire of genius and the grandeur of a terrible beauty, one of the most typical and unforgettable monuments of the Italian Renaissance. The casting of this great work gave Cellini the utmost trouble and anxiety; and its completion was hailed with rapturous homage from all parts of Italy. The original relief from the foot of the pedestal — Perseus and — is in the , and replaced by a cast.
By centuries of exposure to the elements had left the statue streaked and banded with dirt and . In December of that year it was removed from the Loggia to the for cleaning and restoration. This was a slow and painstaking process, and it was not until June that the restored statue was returned to its original home.
Among his works of art not already mentioned, many of which have perished, were a colossal for a fountain at Fontainebleau and the bronzes of the doorway, coins for the Papal and Florentine states, a in silver of life size, and a bronze bust of .

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