The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini: Library Edition (英語) CD – Audiobook, 1998/12
|CD, Audiobook, 1998/12||
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The magnificent biography of Florentine goldsmith, sculptor and artist Benvenuto Cellini is presented here complete.
Although encouraged by his family to take up music as a youth, the young Cellini had other ideas. At first apprenticing as a goldsmith with his father, it was during his reckless teenage years that Cellini was banished from Florence's borders for taking part in an intense street brawl with his friends.
This temporary ban forced the teenage Cellini into travelling around Italy; he would live for a time in the town of Siena, then Bologna, and finally onto the great and ancient capital of Rome when he was nineteen. Putting his early training in metalwork to use, the young Cellini quickly demonstrated great talent in the moulding of silver. In Renaissance Rome there was no shortage of demand for fine quality handiwork, and Cellini's living was soon secure thanks to commissions from figures such as the Bishop of Salamanca.
Together with the stories of his wayward youth and ascendance to acclaim as an artisan and sculptor, Cellini describes his travels, his associates, his romances and the locales he settles in. Much of the biography is full of opinions on matters of art and society which Cellini attempts to justify with reasoned argument. Some bizarre and fantastical events - such as the author conjuring a great legion of devils inside the Roman Colosseum after a favourite mistress of Cellini's was led away by her mother, lend liveliness to the text.
The biography concludes quite suddenly with the final journey Cellini made to Pisa, which was another of his favoured cities. For its style, humour, and undoubted value as a history and commentary upon the Italian Renaissance, Benvenuto Cellini's biography is considered the most valuable of the era.
This translation to English is by John Addington Symonds, an acclaimed literary critic and scholar of Renaissance Italian culture. Symonds was himself an authoritative author of several biographies regarding prominent Italian figures of the 14th to 16th centuries.
James Fenton is a poet, critic and journalist whose non-fiction titles include Leonardo's Nephew: Letters on Art and Artists and School of Genius, an illustrated history of the Royal Academy of Arts. He has been Professor of Poetry at Oxford and writes regularly for the New York Review of Books.
Notes by David Ekserdjian:
Professor Art History and Film at Leicester University. He was formerly Senior Specialist in Christie's Fine Art department. --このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。
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But what he lacks in writing skill, he more than makes up for in personality, so much so that his brilliant life and gusto for living bursts through the awkward form.
Cellini, it is clear, loves life -- he leaves nothing out when telling it, and so he represents very well what it must have been like to be one of the great artists of the Italian Renaissance in the patronage of the papacy, the great Medici family, and Francis I (who supported Da Vinci in his last years).
We meet Lorenzo de Medici, Cosimo, Francis I, Cosimo's wife who needs Cellini to help her get a pearl necklace, competitors, thieves, Popes, and beautiful women, whom Cellini kept for modeling and for "company."
And we get to hear Cellini discussing the design and creation of classic works that still exist today, like the salt cellar, the Nymph of Fountainbleau, and his masterpiece, the statue Perseus, which he describes as so astonishing to the people of the day that they composed sonnets about it and posted them up all over Florence.
Cellini recounts his many affairs, duels, scrapes, imprisonments, and commissions, one adventure after another, so that his whole life sweeps by in a grand and vibrant portrait. He always seems to come out on top too, which makes you wonder if he's telling the whole truth, but nonetheless Cellini's autobiography is a thrilling read and filled with life in a time when all the world was stirring with art and passion.