This man is count Baldassarre Castiglione (December 6, 1478 – February 2, 1529), from Canatico, near Mantua. Courtier, priest, politician, diplomat, bon vivant. He lived between his native Canatico, Milan, Mantua, Urbino, Rome, Madrid, Toledo. He met, amongst the others, Raphael, the painter. Daresay he had a rather intense life. Amongst all the other things, he authored a book called Il Cortegiano (The Book of the Courtesan), where he gives an account of his experience at Urbino as courtesan of the duchess virgin Elisabetta Gonzaga. As he explains, the main duty of the courtesan is that of giving pleasure to his Prince through his conversation (not the toughest of job, I would say). A good courtesan must be well versed in telling jokes, fighting, writing poetry, playing music, drawing, and dancing. This elegance of manner must be accompanied by a good knowledge of the classics, a certain moral temper, and physical prowess. Through the exercise of all these virtues, the good courtesan attains sprezzatura, which is “the mysterious source of courtly gracefulness, the quality which makes the courtier seem a natural nobleman”. Sprezzatura, in sum, is the art of acting in the most artful manner without revealing this art. A natural, nonchalant attitude, which is in fact the result of intense practice and exercise.
“A famous anecdote relates that during the mid-1980s, an intoxicated Jagger phoned Watts’ hotel room in the middle of the night asking “Where’s my drummer?”. Watts reportedly got up, shaved, dressed in a suit, put on a tie and freshly shined shoes, descended the stairs, and punched Jagger in the face, saying: “Don’t ever call me your drummer again. You’re my fucking singer!”—