" data-medium-file="https://www.derekwadsworth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/lessing_art_10310484006-352x450.jpg" data-large-file="https://www.derekwadsworth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/lessing_art_10310484006-626x800.jpg" src="https://www.derekwadsworth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/lessing_art_10310484006-271x346.jpg" width="271" height="346" align="left" title="Title: Saliera (salt cellar), detail; triumphal arch; Image ID:" />
Creator: Benvenuto Cellini; Date: 1540-1543; Material: gold, niello work-related, ebony base; Measurements: as a whole elevation 26 cm; Repository: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, inv. 881.

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Especially, he doesn’t name the main figures—they would certainly just later be determined as Neptune and Tellus. As Charles Hope defines in his book Patronage in the Renaissance, Cellini was mostly interested in the composition, and the correct subject matter came later.

Cellini tells us that when he presented the wax version to the Cardinal his companions butted in aacquire. “This is a piece which it will take the stays of ten men to end up,” an adviser to the Cardinal exclintends once they are presented through the design. “Do not expect, a lot of reverfinish monsignor, if you order it, to obtain it in your life time.” The Cardinal agreed and decreased the item.

The real trouble might have actually been its price, though, because the Cardinal took Cellini via him to existing the design to Francis I, King of France.

Francis’ reaction was more to Cellini’s liking. He writes that upon seeing the version, the King cried out in astonishment: “This is a hundred times more magnificent a thing that I had actually ever dreamed of. What a miracle of a man! He ought never before to speak functioning.” Without hesitation he then asked for the salt cellar to be executed in gold.


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Henri Fantin-Latour, Casting of the Perseus; 1888. Sterling and also Francine Clark Art Institute; Dept. of Prints, Drawings and Photographs.


Cellini then changes gears and jumps right into an adendeavor story in which he single-handedly fends off four armed bandits as he walked house with a basket laden through the gold that he got from the King’s treasurer. “My skill in utilizing the sword made them think I was a soldier quite than a fellow of some various other calling,” he writes.

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When the Saliera was lastly made and presented to Francis, Cellini clintends the King “uttered a loud outcry of astonishment, and also could not satiate his eyes with gazing at it.”

We have to probably take the artist’s account of the King’s reactivity with, ahem, a grain of salt. It doesn’t seem to have actually emerged to Cellini that there might have actually been other factors for Francis’s enthusiasm. For example, Alana O’Brien suggests in The Sixteenth Century Journal that the King’s interemainder was because of “its message in relation to Francis I’s political and also financial interests in salt manufacturing and also the pepper and spice trades,” not just the object’s beauty.

But this is not also surpclimbing. To quote Ruth Wedgtimber Kennedy in Renaissance News, “even though many other actors number in the melodrama of Cellini’s life and he comes into contact through princes, prelates, excellent ladies, humanists, policemales, ostlers and brigands, he sees every little thing in so individual a way that he is blind to many type of of the facets of Cinquecento life.”