Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cellini

Narcissus

Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) was a famous sculptor and lover of boys.

Cellini was born in Florence at the time of the Italian Renaissance.

Florence was known as "Sodom City".

Reportedly, sex between men and boys was a part of Florentine culture.

Cellini was convicted of homosexual sodomy in Florence in 1523 and in 1557.

Perseus

Cellini's Florentine patron was Duke Cosimo I de'Medici and it was for Cosimo that Cellini made a bronze Perseus holding Medusa's severed head. This can be viewed in Piazza della Signoria.

Cellini's works include a marble statues of Ganymede and an Eagle, Narcissus, and Apollo and Hyacinth.

Ganymede and the Eagle

In Ganymede and the Eagle, the young Trojan boy touches the neck feathers of the Eagle, his seducer.

Apollo and Hyacinth

In Apollo and Hyacinth, Apollo touches Hyacinth.

Cellini wrote Vita, his autobiography.

In Vita, he relates that he took his apprentice Diego, dressed in women's clothes, to a party.

The boy was voted the most beautiful prostitute in Florence.

In Vita, Cellini refers to sodomy as that "noble practice" of "the greatest emperors and the greatest kings of the world."

Perseus

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