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“If one of you comes out of the shop, let the other run for a priest, because there’ll be no need for a doctor.” — Benvenuto Cellini
“The whole world was now in warfare.” — Benvenuto Cellini
“And then falling on my knees, I begged him to absolve me of that homicide, and of the others I had committed while serving the Church in the castle. At this the Pope raised his hand, carefully made a great sign of the cross above my head, and said that he gave me his blessing and that he forgave me all the murders I had ever committed and all the murders I ever would commit in the service of the Apostolic Church.” — Benvenuto Cellini
Italian artists from the Renaissance often lived lives that would make artists-gangsters a la Biggie or Tupac blush. Born at a time and place when colorful individuals abounded, Benvenuto Cellini was the wildest of them all. He is remembered as one of the greatest artists of the era, and at the same time as a man of explosive passions, equally inclined to murder and disturbing sexual escapades. In this first episode, we’ll witness Cellini surviving the plague and pirates, multiple street fights with blades drawn and the 1527 Sack of Rome. Along the way, we’ll see how Italian honor culture may help explain the Will Smith-Chris Rock clash at the Oscars. The characters that show up in our tale from kings and prostitutes, mercenaries and artists, necromancers and cardinals, servants and guards. If you are looking for entertainment set in the Renaissance, you really can’t ask for anything better.
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