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Artists and authorship: the case of Raphael
Artists and authorship: the case of Raphael

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2.10 The intersubjectivity of Raphael and Castiglione

One of Raphael’s most important social contacts at the papal court was Baldassare Castiglione, a nobleman, diplomat and writer, who served as a courtier in Raphael’s home town of Urbino before joining Raphael in Rome. At the end of his life Castiglione penned his best-known literary work, The Book of the Courtier (first published 1528), a tribute to the Urbino court as he had experienced it during his youth. In it Castiglione stages a conversation stretching over several days on the question of what makes an ideal courtier. He describes his memories of Urbino as a ‘painted portrait’, not one by his friend Raphael or by Michelangelo but, he writes, one lacking in beautiful colours and perspective.