Un sol giovin ch’all’Ali, e al tronco Gorgon.
Perseo dimostri e quinci appar divina agl’occhi nostri L’opra,
ch’il bene & la bellessa serra suprema gloria de’tuoi dolci mali
(…a solitary youth whom thou hast portrayed as Perseus, with wings and the Medusa’s corpse: to our eyes the work appears divine, since it unites the good and beautiful, supreme glory of thy sweet labours…)
Letter from Cellini to Benedetto Varchi, Florence, 28 January, 1546
I could much better speak of the arguments governing the magnificence of art, then write of them, for I dictate badly and write worse. But such as I am, here you have me. I say that the art of sculpture is sevenfold greater than any other art to which design pertains, for a status must have eight aspects, all of which should be equally good. Whereas it happens on many occasions that the sculptor, not enough loving his art, contents himself with one fine aspect or perchance with two; and because it wearies him to file away somewhat from this beautiful side, and bring it into harmony with the six that are less comely, he leaves his statue most ill-proportioned. In this is displayed the excellence of Michelangelo, who perceived the full merits of this art, and who most revealed its greatness.
…I say further, that this marvellous art of sculpture is not possible unless the sculptor has a familiar acquaintance with all the most noble arts. For should he wish to represent a soldier with the qualities and courage that are proper to him, the said master must himself be most valiant, and with a good knowledge of weapons…
I think he achieved his goal, I have done a 360 around Perseus on many occasions and it certainly pleases from all angles. And I think Cellinididhave courage, like a soldier or warrior, for he was a great traveller and open to life’s experiences. He even shot a Duke and a Prince (?!) in defence of the pontiff in Rome. A slight exaggeration perhaps…?*a raised eyebrow, shrug, wink and a smile*