But the skills of the artist are many, and Duncan's personal search through history took him, as well, to the Renaissance, notably to Baldassare Castiglione
, the humanist author of The Courtier and subject of Raphael's famous portrait.
The artist's creative process and the role of his principal studio assistants are examined through 40 paintings, including Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione
(1519), and some 30 drawings on loan from the Louvre.
J]estes and merrie conceites are rather a gift, and a grace of nature, than of arte," Baldassare Castiglione
remarks in The Book of the Courtier (1528): "Yet are there many notwithstanding both of this nation and other also, that in too much babling passe sometime their boundes and were unsavery and fond, because they have no respect to the condition of the person they commune withal, to the place where they bee, to the time, to the great gravitie and modesty which they ought to have in themselves.
In her discussion of conversation, Horodowich leans on three works: the Courtier (1528) by Baldassare Castiglione
(1478-1529), the Galateo (1558) by Giovanni della Casa (1503-56), and the Civile Conversazione (1574) by Stefano Guazzo (1530-93), to argue that comportment manuals presented a confusedly mixed message: conversation was both necessary and salutary, yet also presented potential dangers.
To this end he makes repeated references also to the treatises of Leon Battista Alberti (On the Art of Building in Ten Books) and Baldassare Castiglione
(The Book of the Courtier), classical Italian manuals dealing, respectively, with urban geography and courtly behavior.
Cowen enlists himself in the much-thinner ranks of the cultural optimists, who include such characters as Charles Perrault, the 17th-century Frenchman who wrote the Mother Goose stories to show that the "modern" world could create an equivalent to Aesop's fables; Baldassare Castiglione
, author of the early Renaissance classic The Book of the Courtier and a defender of cultural progress; and that ur-literary critic, Samuel Johnson, who defended writing for money and the "street literature" of his day.
Raphael and his good friend and author of II Cortegiano, Baldassare Castiglione
, had undertaken a project to make an illustrated reconstruction of ancient Rome.
If The Book of the Courtier, the etiquette guide penned by the sixteenth-century Italian diplomat Baldassare Castiglione
, is known at all today, it's probably for its coinage of sprezzatura, a word it uses to describe a very particular, and very practiced, mode of nonchalance.
9302, 2 June 1514): "suo consauguineo et cubiculario"; the letters of Baldassare Castiglione
revealing the special affection Leo X has for his cousin cardinal dei Rossi were published in La Rocca's edition, 462 (nr.
Court life of the period was heavily influenced by the concept of the "courtier," especially as described by the diplomat and writer Baldassare Castiglione
Painting, practiced on a flat surface, deceptively suggests depth, relief, and texture where there is none; it is an art which, according to Raphael's friend, Baldassare Castiglione
, "adorn Es] the truth with pretty colors or mak[es], by perspective art, that which is not seem to be.
A fully footnoted 14-page appendix contains the first full English translation of the key letter to Leo x in which Raphael and Baldassare Castiglione
expressed their concern for the state of the monuments of ancient Rome.