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Platonic Love On The Rocks: Castiglione Counter-Currents In Renaissance Italy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Platonic love foundered on many rocks. The author delves into the reception of this refined heterosexual Platonic love, but not before a look at a harsh judgment of both Marsilio Ficino and Pietro Bembo/Baldassare Castiglione in the name of the only moral Platonic love possible: one in which there was no sexual element except as metaphor. Even before Castiglione, Petrarch had won a privileged place at court; The Book of the Courtier added luster to the cultivation of Petrarch, intensifying the Platonic tints already suffused in his lyrics. Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo saw himself complementing The Book of the Courtier by making Petrarch and Laura the embodiments of the Neoplatonic code of love typical of courtiers and ladies at the court of Urbino, and by extension, all other courts.

Keywords: Baldassare Castiglione; Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo; Marsilio Ficino; Neoplatonic code of love; Petrarch; Pietro Bembo; Platonic love; The Book of the Courtier

10.1163/ej.9789004188976.i-384.41
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004188976.i-384.41
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