Andrew Lambirth

‘Castiglione: Lost Genius’ loses his genius in a sea of brown

Plus: A sneak preview of the drawings of Gainsborough, one of the greatest European draughtsmen of the 18th century

Vanitas’, mid-1650, by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609–64) was, I must admit, unknown to me until I visited this show, the only Castiglione I was properly aware of being the one who wrote The Book of the Courtier published in 1528; clearly not the same man. The artist Castiglione was a tempestuous character, always losing his temper and getting into fights.

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