Advertisement

Criminal Acts and Literary Practice

Chapter
  • 45 Downloads

Abstract

Benvenuto Cellini began composing his autobiography while under house arrest for the sex crime of sodomy. On 27 February 1557 the renowned sculptor and goldsmith, who had worked at the courts of powerful popes and kings, was convicted in Florence of sodomy (see appendix 3.A). The criminal court that passed judgment on him ruled:

Benvenuto di Maestro Giovanni Cellini scultore, cittadino fiorentino… perchè circa di cinque anni or sono passati esso ha tenuto per suo ragazzo Fernando di Giovanni da Montepulciano, giovanetto con il quale ha usato carnalmente moltissime volte col nefando vitio di soddomia, tenendolo in letto come sua moglie… in obedienza delle leggi condannano detto Benvenuto in scudi 50 d’oro da pagarsi… et più lo confinano a stare quattro anni in le Stinche… et lo privano in perpetuo delli offitii, secondo il tenore di dette leggi.1

(Benvenuto, son of Master Giovanni Cellini, sculptor and Florentine citizen… for about the last five years this Cellini had kept as his boy Fernando di Giovanni da Montepulciano, a youth who he used most frequently sexually engaging in the despicable vice of sodomy, keeping him in bed as if he was his wife… thus in accordance with the law this court condemns the said Benvenuto to pay a fine of 50 golden scudi… and to serve four years in the prison known as the Stinche… and strips him for life of holding public office, following the tenor of the said laws.)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    My translation of Luigi Greci, “Benvenuto Cellini nei delitti e nei processi fiorentini ricostruiti attraverso le leggi del tempo,” Archivio di Antropologia Criminale 2nd sen, 50, no. 4 (1930): 530Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    Marvin E. Wolfgang, “A Florentine Prison: Le Carceri delle Stinche,” Studies in the Renaissance 7 (1960), 150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 16.
    G. Baccini, “Scarperia. L’arresto di Benvenuto Cellini,” Bollettino storicoletterario del Mugello 1 (1892): 27–29.Google Scholar
  4. 24.
    Ruth Wedgwood Kennedy, “Cellini and Vincenzo de’ Rossi,” Renaissance News 4, no. 3 (1951), 36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 31.
    John K. Brackett, “The Florentine Onestà and the Control of Prostitution, 1403–1680,” Sixteenth Century Journal 24, no. 2 (1993), 291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 34.
    Giovanni Antonelli, “La magistratura degli Otto di Guardia a Firenze,” Archivio Storico Italiano 112 (1954), 35.Google Scholar
  7. 37.
    Judith Bryce, “The oral world of the early Accademia Fiorentina,” Renaissance Studies 9, no. 1 (1995), 102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Margaret A. Gallucci 2003

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations