Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Il cortegiano
  • Baldassare Castiglione
    active: Italy
  • Il cortegiano, 1562
  • book
  • Not on display
  • EL2012.029
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Giorgio Vasari and Court Culture in Late Renaissance Italy," Sep-2012, Sally Cornelison and Susan Earle
Although he was active in the duchies of Mantua, Milan, and Urbino, Castiglione was frequently an ambassador in Rome and was eventually the papal ambassador to the royal court in Spain. The first edition of the Book of the Courtier appeared in 1528 and reflects Castiglione’s experience at various princely, royal, and papal courts as well as the literary tradition surrounding the behavior and education of the ideal courtier. Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier had far-reaching effects on court culture throughout Europe during Vasari’s lifetime. Vasari himself adopted many of the most desirable qualities of courtiers (such as effortless grace, gravitas, and wonder) as the best qualities of artwork, and he presents many of the most celebrated artists (such as Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci) as though they were also the best courtiers based on the model of Castiglione’s dialogue Book of the Courtier.