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The table figurine is made of gold with a slight addition of enamel. In appearance, the salier is more like a casket than an ordinary figurine. In height, the figure reaches 26.3 centimeters, and in width - 33.5 centimeters.
When Ippolito d’Este ordered a salt shaker from Cellini, the master immediately came up with the idea of creating a figure implying the union of the sea and the earth, as a result of which salt is born. Neptune, riding on sea horses, attracts the eye with an amazing elaboration of forms. The impeccability of the figure of the deity is emphasized by the gold that covers the figure of Neptune. His face, as usual, expresses severity and thoughtfulness, and his right hand is slightly extended along with the trident. Next to it is a ship containing salt.
Opposite the sea god sits Ceres - the goddess of the earth, sitting on an elephant. The beautiful goddess is slightly tilted back, and her left hand covers her breasts. Near Ceres you can see the triumphal arch, which will serve as a container for pepper. The figures of deities are washed by water, in which you can see the silhouettes of fish. This technique symbolizes the unity of deities, the relationship of water and land. At the bottom of the sculpture, at the feet of the goddess, the salamander is visible. She is the emblem of Francis I, embodying the customer of the sculpture.
Four putti adorn the ebony wood castor pedestal. Images of angels symbolize the cardinal points and the wind. Special rollers are located under the pedestal, allowing you to move the figurine without lifting it. The wealth of the salt shaker, the careful study and comprehension of the smallest details symbolizing the unity of the deities and elements of nature, as a result of which something completely new is born, has been delighting people for hundreds of years. Undoubtedly, this work can be called the best of Cellini's works.
Picture Defense of the Brest Fortress