Baldassare Castiglione, Conte

Castiglione, Baldassare, Conte (bäldäs-säˈrā kōnˈtā kästēlyōˈnā) [key], 1478–1529, Italian soldier, author, and statesman attached to the court of the duke of Milan and later in the service of the duke of Urbino. His famous Libro del cortegiano (1528, tr. The Courtier, 1561), a treatise on etiquette, social problems, and intellectual accomplishments, is one of the great books of its time. Written at a time when the author served as envoy to Pope Leo X, it gives a vivid and elegant picture of 15th- and 16th-century court life. His book had enormous influence on behavior at courts as far away as England, where it contributed to an ideal of aristocracy embodied in the person and accomplishments of Sir Philip Sidney. Castiglione's portrait was painted by Raphael (c.1515), his tomb designed by Giulio Romano, and his epitaph composed by Bembo.

See studies by W. A. Rebhorn (1978) and R. W. Hanning and D. Rosand (1983).

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