Benvenuto Cellini was a celebrated goldsmith and distinguished sculptor, yet it is on his autobiography that much of his fame rests. Begun in Florence when he was fifty-eight, it was primarily intended to be the story of his life and art, his tragedies and triumphs. However, as he was an active participant in the wars and struggles of the period, and drew his friends and enemies from all levels of society, it became a vivid and convincing portrait of the manners and morals both of the rulers of the sixteenth century and of their subjects.
With enviable powers of invective and an irrepressible sense of humour, reflected in an equally vigorous and extravagant style, Cellini has provided an intriguing and unrivalled glimpse into the palaces and prisons of the Italy of Michelangelo and the Medici. For this edition, George Bull has revised and expanded his Introduction, added comprehensive notes and updated the Bibliography.