Master Italian sculptor, goldsmith, and writer, Benvenuto Cellini is best remembered for his magnificent autobiography. In this work which was actually begun in 1558 but not actually published until 1730, Cellini beautifully chronicles his own flamboyant times. He tells of his adventures in Italy and France, his relations with popes and kings and with fellow artists. From Florence and Pisa to Siena and Rome, Cellini portrays a tumultuous period—the age of Galileo, Michelangelo and the Medicis—with an artist’s eye for detail, and a curmudgeon’s propensity for criticism. Cellini, according to his autobiographical account, seems to have lived a very full and active life, and his account of his exploits, though grandiloquent and somewhat suspect, are always entertaining. Renaissance historians such as Burkhardt were strongly influenced by this work, seeing it as confirmation that the key to the period is the emergence of modern individualism.