Baldassare Castiglione

Literary Mastermind of His Time


Baldassare Castiglione was born on December 6th, 1478 in Casatico, Italy. At an early age he was sent to Milan to learn about the humanistic studies. He returned to Casatico when his father died and later joined the military where he learned militaristic and diplomatic skills. He spent most of his life where he was born. The lifestyle that Castiglione lived was sort of privileged because he was able to go and study abroad.

Castiglione wrote novels and two of his works are The Courtier and The Tirsi. His patron was Guidobaldo the Duke of Urbine. The two "isms" that are closely linked to Castiglione are humanism because his works focused on human perfection, and Capitalism because patrons paid him for his works.

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Castiglione's The Courtier

The Courtier was started in 1513 and was finished the year after (1514). It wasn't published until 1528, the year before Baldassare Castiglione's death. The Courtier can be found in book stores and libraries through out the world. It describes The perfect man and woman in the Renaissance and how they should act in court. The piece is interesting to me because it shows how the ideals of men and women have changed throughout the ages. Castiglione's book The Courtier is the definitive work on the subject. The most significant thing about this piece of literature is that he portrays what the perfect man should be like and how people should behave and act. The work was based on humanism because it focuses on the human condition.
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