For students of that age he is at once more and less than his illustrious contemporaries; less, inasmuch as he distinguished himself by no stupendous intellectual qualities; more, inasmuch as he occupied a larger sphere than each of them singly.
The gold Salt Cellar demonstrates extremely well the technical virtuosity in which Cellini delighted; the architectural relief of the Nymph reveals that even when he was working on a large scale as a sculptor his art was still essentially that of a goldsmith.
While approaching this part of our subject, it is worth remembering that he showed in boyhood a strong predilection for the arts of design. The same fate has probably befallen Cellini's handiwork as befell the jewels he took to pieces in the Castle of S. Now Bourbon had been shot dead in the assault of Rome upon that foggy morning, and Cellini had certainly discharged his arquebuse from the ramparts.
On the first of these occasions, an innkeeper somewhere near Chioggia crossed his humour about the proper way of paying the host's bill. That it flattered his own vanity is certain; and I suspect from his way of introducing it that the story formed part of some domestic gossip regarding his ancestry which he had heard in boyhood.
Giulio Romano retained something of the sacred fire which animated his master Raphael's pictures. It was there that Forster's heroine Lucy was taken to recover from the trauma of seeing so much blood spilled on the Piazza. Upon the very first pages of the book we are met with an astounding legend relating to the foundation and the name of Florence.
According to Cellini's autobiography, it was during this period that his personal rivalry with the sculptor Baccio Bandinelli grew.