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Verified Purchase. Excellent version of this Italian classic that codified the essential qualities of the perfect Renaissance courtier.

Baldassare Castiglione

Castiglione coined the term "sprezzatura" to express the grace, nonchalance and panache with which the perfect "cortegiano" displays his immense personal charm and extraordinary adeptness in all skills valued by the courts, from witty repartee to virile jousting, from graceful knowledge of all dances to profound literary talent and depth of knowledge. Despite his accomplishments, all feats should seem to emanate from him naturally.

Italian Renaissance Art

Self-aggrandizement, ostentation, and exhibitionism are the height of vulgarity and outweigh any accomplishment if any brilliant action is not carried out with finesse. What could be more delightfully unlike the world we live in.

Go to Amazon. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Length: pages. Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled. The son of a noble family, Castiglione was educated at the humanist school of Giorgio Merula and Demetrius Chalcondyles , and at the court of Ludovico Sforza in Milan. He returned to Mantua in to enter the service of the marquis, Francesco Gonzaga, transferring to the service of Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino , in Among his duties was a mission to England to receive the Order of the Garter as a proxy for Guidobaldo.

Il libro del cortegiano — Brill

It was at Urbino that Castiglione collaborated with his cousin on a pastoral drama, Tirsi , in which the speeches of nymphs and shepherds conceal references to the court. Castiglione was sent to Rome in as ambassador of the new duke of Urbino, Francesco Maria della Rovere, and later entered papal service.

Castiglione was posted to Spain as papal nuncio ambassador in and apparently impressed Emperor Charles V as a perfect gentleman. Written in —18, Il libro del cortegiano was published in Venice in It is a discussion of the qualities of the ideal courtier , put into the mouths of such friends as Pietro Bembo , Ludovico da Canossa , Bernardo da Bibbiena, and Gasparo Pallavicino. As was common in the Renaissance , Il cortegiano freely imitates the work of ancient writers such as Plato on the ideal republic and Cicero on the ideal orator as well as discussing the problem of creative imitation.

Catalog Record: Il cortegiano; or, The courtier | HathiTrust Digital Library

It also has its place in a late medieval tradition of courtesy books, manuals of noble behaviour. Further, Castiglione invests Il cortegiano with an unusual lightness that both describes sprezzatura and exemplifies it, and a lively dialogue that brings his leading characters to life. Il cortegiano was a great publishing success by the standards of the time. The book remains a classic of Italian literature. Is his primary occupation warfare? However, his 16th-century readers, responding to the cues given by editors who furnished the book with marginal notes and summaries as well as indexes, appear to have read the book as a treatise on the art of shining in society.

It was studied by lawyers and merchants who wished to appear well-bred whether the author would have approved of this use of his dialogue is doubtful.

Italian printing and the mind of man

The underlining in surviving copies suggests that some readers paid closer attention to the jokes and instructions on how to ride or dance with elegance than the more philosophical debates. The text survived the Counter-Reformation with minor expurgations, such as the deletion of anticlerical jokes and references to the pagan goddess Fortune. Eclipsed by rival and more up-to-date treatises on behaviour in the 17th and 18th centuries despite interest in the book on the part of Lord Chesterfield , Samuel Johnson , and the actor David Garrick , Il cortegiano was rediscovered in the late 19th century as a representative text of the Renaissance.

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Humanism, system of education and mode of inquiry that originated in northern Italy during the 13th and 14th centuries and later spread through continental Europe and England. The term is alternatively applied to a variety of Western beliefs, methods, and philosophies that place central emphasis on….