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In Your FaceProfessional Improprieties and the Art of Being Conspicuous in Sixteenth-Century Italy$
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Douglas Biow

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804762151

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804762151.001.0001

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Baldassar Castiglione and the Art of Being Inconspicuously Conspicuous

Baldassar Castiglione and the Art of Being Inconspicuously Conspicuous

(p.35) Chapter 1 Baldassar Castiglione and the Art of Being Inconspicuously Conspicuous
In Your Face
Stanford University Press

This chapter describes a model of discretionary comportment both of and for court culture in sixteenth-century Italy, focusing on Baldassar Castiglione and his work as a diplomat. It explains what it meant, in theory and in practice, to be conspicuous and yet deftly inconspicuous in the courts of the period. It also explores how strategies for being conspicuous changed dramatically in the late Renaissance as some writers became more and more openly indecorous and manifestly aggressive in print, particularly after the Sack of Rome. Those strategies for being inconspicuously conspicuous also coincided with an unprecedented outpouring of books on proper conduct and professional propriety, which include Castiglione's own influential Cortegiano.

Keywords:   court culture, sixteenth-century Italy, conspicuous, late Renaissance, Sack of Rome, Cortegiano

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