Most performances on the tour ahead will be introduced, in several languages, either by the Count of Casatico himself, Baldassare Castiglione, or by one of his mortal or ethereal associates. You may even audition to become a mortal associate of the courtly gentleman yourself, if already suitably accomplished.
The well-known portrait of the Count of Casatico was painted just over five hundred years ago (c. 1514-1515). It is almost certainly the work of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520), though there is no documentary evidence to prove the fact.
This is why, for the sake of accuracy, the work is described as being attributed to Raphael, even though, in almost every respect, it is known that the portrait was, indeed, painted exclusively by Raphael.
Art history relies upon evidence, of course, as does all respectable history.
Paintings by Raphael are often considered to be as valuable as important philosophical ideas. This especially applies when those paintings happen to be missing.
What is missing from your understanding of history?
What do you consider to be valuable in terms of art and philosophy?
Through all his personal experiences, and especially his journeys, Signor Castiglione gained an understanding of the necessity for reasonableness. He also acknowledged the usefulness of perceived confidence when expressing reasonable ideas. He also understood the necessity for understatement when seeking a successful career. He was a true philosopher.
What is your acquaintance with understatement?
What is your understanding of states?
The famous book of Signor Castiglione took him twenty years to complete.
It was first published in Venice by the Aldine Press in 1528, just a year before the author's death.
In the previous year, 1527, the Sack of Rome had occurred. It was obviously a time of much upheaval.
Signor Castiglione was in Spain at that time, carrying out his duties as the Apostolic nuncio.
In 1514 or 1515, Raphael, while painting the portrait of his diplomatic friend, was in the middle of his most famous commissioned work, namely the frescoes in four relatively small rooms of the Apostolic Palace in Rome.
Raphael had many assistants to help him, unlike another highly regarded, commissioned artist.
The latter much preferred working alone on a nearby ceiling.
Are you a highly regarded artist or diplomat?
For many years since his permanent passing into the ethereal realm of history, Signor Castiglione (1478-1529) has gently encouraged people, especially influential people, to reflect reasonably on matters of etiquette and morality.
How do you usually reflect upon etiquette and morality?
What has been your prior acquaintance with the author of The Book of the Courtier (Il Libro del Cortegiano)?
What is your acquaintance with the book itself meant to assist you to do?
Have you actually read it in its original form or in translation?
If so, what do you believe to be the duties of a courtier in an enlightened democracy in the 21st century?
Signor Castiglione was born in 1478 near Mantua in Lombardy, a city known in Italian as Mantova. He had a humanist education in Milan before returning to Mantua to work for the Gonzaga family.
Signor Castiglione then entered the service of the Duke of Urbino, where he was greatly influenced by the duchess. This lead the Lombard courtier to Rome where he eventually became a diplomat in the service of Pope Clement VII, particularly at the Spanish court of Charles V.
Unfortunately, at the age of fifty, Signor Castiglione died in Toledo in Spain, of plague. The city of Toledo had, for many years, been a centre of scholarship and interfaith tolerance, much like the International Training Centre for the Harmonious Interplay of Beauty, Understanding and Magnificence is today.
The Mozarty Party puts the theories of enlightened tolerance and enlightened democracy into practice, all around the world, as cheerfully as possible. The party collects knowledge (but not necessarily donations) from a wide range of individuals and institutions, all around the world.
For example, the most conscientious members of the Mozarty Party try to keep up with the findings of TOLEDO.
Although TOLEDO involves world-renowned research on tolerance and democracy, conducted within in the Department of Government at Uppsala University in Sweden, its website implies that its staff have a reputation for misquoting Voltaire. Whether anyone on the staff has a reputation for misquoting other authors is therefore open to speculation.
Signor Castiglione is not on the staff of TOLEDO but he does frequently help at at the International Training Centre for the Harmonious Interplay of Beauty, Understanding and Magnificence. Raphael does his best to assist as well.
Both gentlemen are also seeking to be of assistance on the Mozarty Party World Peace and Global Prosperity Tour, as is the Duchess of Urbino.
Two months ago, in this ethereal theatre itself, the first and only public performance of a new production occurred. As you may already know, especially if you were here then, the work celebrated two hundred and sixty years of Mozartian and Mozarty musical and political activity in the world.
At around this time last month, the first and only public performance of another new production occurred here. That work was presented in relation to other public performances.
Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) is obviously of a slightly later generation than the accomplished Signor Castiglione and his equally accomplished friend, Raphael.
Mr Tallis was an English Catholic composer during the short reign of the Protestant child-king Edward VI (r.1547-1553). The career of Mr Tallis later flourished in the equally dangerous context of Elizabethan England.
As a Catholic, the beliefs of Mr Tallis were still based on the Vulgate.
Whether you believe in a resurrection or several resurrections or the necessity of insurrections, or not, you may believe in the possibility of a sustainably peaceful and prosperous world.
The Mozarty Party obviously seeks world peace and universal prosperity for everyone, everywhere, regardless of anyone's personal point of view on the matter.
Mr Mozart, of course, was brought up as a Catholic himself.
If Ye Love Me is performed here by the Voices of Ascension Chorus & Dennis Keene. The words for the work are from the New Testament:
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,
that he may bide with you forever, even the spirit of truth.
But if the words of If Ye Love Me are from the English-language King James Version of the Bible, it would have been impossible for Mr Tallis to have set them to music. The King James Bible was published long after Mr Tallis died.
It is plausible that the words were from an earlier English-language version, possibly the Tyndale Bible, from which the official Great Bible of 1539 was produced.
The New Testament of the Tyndale Bible relied upon the earlier work of Erasmus.
Mr Tallis possibly set the text in English to save his career, and perhaps even life, in a tense, Protestant-dominant situation.
William Tyndale was born in Gloucestershire in England sometime between 1484 and 1496. He was executed for his Protestant beliefs in 1536, not far from Brussels in the Duchy of Brabant.
Killing people is the height of hypocrisy.
If Ye Love Me by Mr Tallis was first published in 1560 though the work had been performed during the earlier time of Edward.
Also published in 1560 was the newly completed Geneva Bible, which would soon have a profound influence on English literature, and on politics.
The English-language version of Signor Castiglione's work The Book of the Courtier had a profound influence at the court of the first English Queen Elizabeth.
That Elizabeth reigned from 1558 to 1603.
The Book of the Courtier was first published in an English-language edition in 1561, translated by Thomas Hoby.
Elizabeth was then about twenty-eight years of age.
The influence of The Book of the Courtier continued into the European Enlightenment, and especially into international diplomacy. Its influence even continues to this day amongst the well-informed advocates of world peace, global prosperity, enlightened democracy and reasonable tolerance.
Signor Castiglione had observed that consistency, integrity and decisiveness were necessary in all matters involving politics and diplomacy. He knew that fair agreements were the basis of peace. He also knew that hypocrisy came in many guises.
His book was deeply influenced by the enlightened cultural leadership he observed in early life. Much of that leaderships was provided by educated women, most notably Isabella d'Este and her sister-in-law, Elisabetta Gonzaga.
Such matters are frequently discussed here in Villa Twaklinilkawt with a similar level of dignity. They are also discussed elsewhere from time to time.
The Mozartian era of sprezzatura only began in the latter half of the 18th century, though some of its influences originated long before the time of Tallis, Castiglione and Raphael.
No-one else has ever expressed musical sprezzatura to the same extent as Mr Mozart. Indeed, much of Mr Mozart's music was written for diplomatic purposes.
The Mozarty Party World Peace and Global Prosperity Tour will mainly consist of private performances in the most culturally-appropriate, diplomatic settings.
Should you wish to be involved in the tour, in any way at all, please contact the Villa Twaklinilkawt Communications Team for further information on the auditioning process.
To assist you further, here is another performance of If Ye Love Me by Thomas Tallis, from 2010: