The way that individuals present themselves to others could be an everlasting image. Sometimes, one individual could share the same set of attitudes and personalities as another individual. The other times one individual could present itself in a completely different manner from the other individual. In the case of Laura Cereta and Benvenuto Cellini, both well renowned renaissance authors share some similar attitudes as artists throughout their pieces of works. Cellini and Cereta can be compared and contrasted through three separate categories of discussion which include the value of women, the attitudes that each possess throughout their respective works and finally the similarities of both being humanists. With these three categories in place, it could help settle out the similarities and differences of both Cellini and Cereta.
When both Cellini and Cereta were born during the time of the renaissance, both had envisions of presenting their thoughts and ideas on several different topics to the public eye. For Cereta, the feminist author that was born and raised in Italy, letters to others was a basic form of communication and as well a way to present ideas and attitudes to others about pieces of work. Throughout her letters, Cereta presents a series of letters to different individuals to show main discussions that the author makes and points out. One discussion Cereta brings up is the value of women in society. Cereta, being a feminist, shows a strong sign of feminism throughout letters that have been recorded in Cereta's own Collected Letters of a Renaissance Feminists in which gives detail to what Cereta writes about in the book: "In which the values of friendship, commonality and community among women and of the sharing of work and thought by women are promoted and exemplified" (page. 23). This quote, which was written in Cereta's autobiography section, shows how the Italian author values friendship throughout several drafted letters to fellow patrons, and also shows how the value of women is exemplified to the fullest in the book. Cereta continues to show attitudes on how feminism is important by including a specific section on women and society, which shows another point as to why Cereta views women in a different way from Cellini:
"Thus in this letter, while she attacks the typical attitude of her male contemporaries in the person of her correspondent Bilbolo Semproni, for his erroneous assumption of women's inferiority, she blames women's' lack of schooling on women themselves rather than on the "nature" or society and its institution" (page. 75)
This quote, as written by the narrator, depicts how Cereta is appalled and is angry because of the mistaken assumption that Mr. Semproni states on women in society. Cereta also comes to the aid of how women lack education during this time period. With Cereta showing a strong support for feminism, Cellini would view women differently. Cellini, being a fit man from the town of Florence, sought sexual desires from women to please him during his life in the renaissance. Cellini's view on women would be a conflict against Cereta because Cellini views women being good for sexual pleasure, while Cereta would argue against that statement and show her support for feminism. An example to show how Cellini views women for sexual needs can be found in the book entitled Autobiography: "But when they went to bed I had the little maid, who was as fresh as fresh; and it would have been worse for her if her mistress had known it. I had a wonderful time that night and was much more satisfied than I would have been with Faustina" (page. 45). This example clearly demonstrates how Cellini has had a sexual encounter with a young maid. This example also relates back to how Cellini views women differently from Cereta because Cellini would not question about what the women does, but instead be more interested on having sexual desires with a woman, while Cereta would disagree with Cellini's viewpoint on women. Cereta would disagree because that is not how the author would depict woman as being good for satisfying other men through acts of sexual fantasies. Another example to solidify the difference on women between Cereta and Cellini is of another sexual encounter Cellini has with another woman: "I stayed with her from about two hours before nightfall till the next morning, tasting greater pleasures than I had ever known before" (page.121). This quote shows more about how Cellini views women as being good for sexual desires, which goes against the feminist views of Cereta. Another example of comparing and contrasting both Cellini and Cereta can be viewed through the way each author presents attitudes throughout literature.
Cellini and Cereta both view differently on the subject of women. When it comes to how each would present their attitudes as artists, it is told in a much similar manner. Cellini presents all of his information in the form of an autobiography while Cereta would write works in the form of letters to various different people, using the similar autobiography method that Cellini uses. An example of how Cellini presents work in the form of an autobiography can be seen when talking about family. "My name is Benvenuto Cellini. My father's name was Giovanni, my grandfather was Andrea, and hid father was Cristofano Cellini; my mother's name was Elizabeth and she was the daughter of Stefano Granacci. And both my parents were Florentines" (page.2). This example shows how Cellini presents attitudes of his work, by providing it in the form of an autobiography. This example also demonstrates how Cellini consistently talks about family throughout the book, showing that the author had strong ties with family relations. This draws a similar connection to Cereta because the feminist author also incorporates several different sections that are told in the form of an autobiography, which can be noticed throughout letters written to different people. Cereta's attitude as an artist towards the respective work is similar to how Cellini presents information in the form of an autobiography, as Cereta consistently wrote letters to various different people creatively displaying the attitudes that made Cereta a well known person throughout the renaissance. An example of how Cereta shows her attitudes as an artist throughout various pieces of work can be found in this quote:
"It disgusts me terribly and makes me ashamed to recall things that can't be compared in any measure to the past honour of the family. moreover, in those days when my mind was free from pain and I devoted all my time, which went by so quickly, to literature, I would have written these things in a better and perhaps more classical style" (page. 24)
This quote clearly demonstrates how Cereta presents several attitudes in the works of literature because it briefly provides backup to what specific style of writing Cereta uses within letters to others. It also demonstrates how Cereta, similar to Cellini, uses the method of an autobiography to enlist details on family, which is another similarity between Cereta and Cellini. As seen throughout different quotes and events, it has made it alot easier to compare and contrast the likes and dislikes of Cereta and Cellini, both of whom present similar topics of discussion in different context. One final connection that could be made between both authors is how both share similar ideas on the discussion of humanism.
The discussion of humanism between Cereta and Cellini can be shared through many similarities shared between both authors. Cellini and Cereta, both, who were born and raised during the renaissance period, include similar views on humanism throughout each of their works of literature. An example of how Cellini has a humanist perspective can be seen through this quote: "My desire to learn the art, or rather my natural talent for it, in fact both of them, was so impelling that within a few months I found myself rivalling not only the good but the best young craftsmen there were, and I began to profit from my labours" (page. 10). This quote demonstrates how Cellini possesses a humanist point of view by learning how to create several pieces of work that showed passion for while creating different pieces of craftsmanship. As for Cereta, the author talks of humanism similar to Cellini but containing a different context to it. An example of Cereta bearing a similar form of humanist views can be seen through this quote taken from the Translator's Introduction in Collected Letters of a Renaissance Feminist:
"Cereta's letters present a self pointedly self-conscious about its femininity. While male humanist letters typically focus on objects, events, ideas, and literary and intellectual relationships, Cereta's letters expose the details of her intimate relationships with her mother, father, husband, and close friends" (page. 9)
This quote briefly demonstrates how Cereta presents humanism in the form of letters that describe relations between several family members and also those of close friends. This connects back to how Cellini and Cereta both share a humanist view on several topics because both authors depict in their works events that they bring up from the past and write in their works of literature for others to view.
Cellini and Cereta both share similarities and differences as renaissance authors. Both authors briefly share examples on different scenarios that have been seen between each other. Through the discussion on women, the attitudes that each show in their works and the similarities of both being humanist authors, Cellini and Cereta both can be compared and contrasted with each other as two renaissance authors who share and compare ideas that both authors present.