Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(880 words)

1. Concept

The early modern term sprezzatura (from the Italian sprezzare, “to neglect,” and Late Latin expretiare, “devalue”) covered a spectrum of meaning ranging from laxity and nonchalance by way of elegance to understatement and dissimulation, and thus denoted the most important ideal of conduct in Renaissance and Baroque court society. Unlike the words from which it derived, sprezzatura was always positive in connotation [5]; [9].

Sprezzatura was coined as “a new word” (una nova parola),…

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Walther, Gerrit, “Sprezzatura”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027893>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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