sprezzatura

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Italian sprezzatura ‎(nonchalance), which was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione; the term gained currency in English in the mid-20th century, often to describe art.

Noun[edit]

sprezzatura ‎(usually uncountable, plural sprezzaturas)

  1. (art) The art of performing a difficult task so gracefully that it looks effortless.
    • 1959, Baldassare Castiglione, Charles S. Singleton (translator), The Book of the Courtier [1528, Il Cortegiano], Chapter 26 2¶,
      have found quite a universal rule which in this matter seems to me valid above all others, and in all human affairs whether in word or deed: and that is to avoid affectation in every way possible as though it were some very rough and dangerous reef; and (to pronounce a new word perhaps) to practice in all things a certain Sprezzatura [nonchalance], so as to conceal all art and make whatever is done or said appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.

External links[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From sprezzare ‎(to despise). In the sense of nonchalance used by Baldassare Castiglione in Il Cortegiano, published in 1528.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /spret.t͡saˈtu.ra/, [s̪pr̺et̪t̪͡s̪äˈt̪uːr̺ä]
  • Hyphenation: sprez‧za‧tù‧ra

Noun[edit]

sprezzatura f ‎(plural sprezzature)

  1. (music, art) nonchalance; sprezzatura
    • 1528, Baldassare Castiglione, “XXVI”, in Il Cortegiano:
      [] trovo una regula universalissima, la qual mi par valer circa questo in tutte le cose umane che si facciano o dicano piú che alcuna altra, e ciò è fuggir quanto piú si po, e come un asperissimo e pericoloso scoglio, la affettazione; e, per dir forse una nova parola, usar in ogni cosa una certa sprezzatura, che nasconda l’arte e dimostri ciò che si fa e dice venir fatto senza fatica e quasi senza pensarvi.
      [] have found quite a universal rule which in this matter seems to me valid above all others, and in all human affairs whether in word or deed: and that is to avoid affectation in every way possible as though it were some very rough and dangerous reef; and (to pronounce a new word perhaps) to practice in all things a certain Sprezzatura [nonchalance], so as to conceal all art and make whatever is done or said appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.

Descendants[edit]

External links[edit]