The Illustrated "Book of the Courtier": A Renaissance Masterpiece in Context | Newberry

The Illustrated "Book of the Courtier": A Renaissance Masterpiece in Context

Led by Jeff Nigro. Four sessions. 1 - 3 pm
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Saturdays, June 22 - July 13

1 - 3 pm

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (May 7 at 9 am** – May 24 at 4 pm): $195
Regular Registration Price (May 24 at 4 pm – first day of class): $214.5

** Registration opens online at 9 am. Phone registration will be accepted starting at 10 am.

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

Click here to register online.

Seminar Description

A literary tour de force as well as a compelling exploration of social ideals, Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier has exerted a huge influence since it was first published in 1528. Through a series of witty conversations, the book examines the qualities of the ideal courtier in appearance, abilities, and character. This seminar will explore Castiglione’s masterpiece through group discussion of the book itself as well as a selection of the art, music, literature, and philosophy that inspired it. Throughout the course, we will consider whether—and to what extent—Castiglione’s ideals still have relevance today.

Four sessions. E – $195, L – $214.5

Jeff Nigro is a research associate and adjunct lecturer at the Art Institute of Chicago and an instructor at the Newberry Library and the Center for Life and Learning.

Materials List


  • Baldesar Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier. Penguin Classics, 1976. ISBN: 978-0140441925

First Reading:

  • For the first class, please read “To the Reverend and Illustrious Signor Don Michel de Silva Bishop of Viseu” and First Book”, pp. 31-104 in The Book of the Courtier.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.