HOME

TheInfoList




Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian
Renaissance humanist Renaissance humanism was a revival in the study of classical antiquity, at first Italian Renaissance, in Italy and then spreading across Western Europe in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. During the period, the term ''humanist'' ( it, umanista ...
author, artist, architect, poet,
priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deity, deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious ...
,
linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...

linguist
, philosopher, and
cryptographer Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ', "study", respectively), is the practice and study of techniques for in the presence of behavior. More generally, cryptograp ...

cryptographer
; he epitomised the nature of those identified now as polymaths. Although he often is characterized exclusively as an architect, as James Beck has observed, "to single out one of Leon Battista's 'fields' over others as somehow functionally independent and self-sufficient is of no help at all to any effort to characterize Alberti's extensive explorations in the fine arts". Although Alberti is known mostly for being an artist, he was also a mathematician of many sorts and made great advances to this field during the fifteenth century. The two most important buildings he designed are the churches of San Sebastiano (1460) and Sant'Andrea (1472), both in Mantua. Alberti's life was described in
Giorgio Vasari Giorgio Vasari (, also , ; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian painter, architect, engineer, writer, and historian, best known for his ''Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects ''The Lives of the Most Excellen ...

Giorgio Vasari
's ''
Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects ''The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects'' ( it, Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori), often simply known as ''The Lives'' ( it, Le Vite), is a series of artist biographies written by 16th-ce ...
''.


Biography


Early life

Leon Battista Alberti was born in 1404 in
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; locally ; lij, Zêna ; English, historically, and la, Genua) is the capital of the of and the . In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of the 2011 Italian census, the , which in 2015 ...

Genoa
. His mother was Bianca Fieschi. His father, Benedetto Alberti, was a wealthy Florentine who had been exiled from his own city, but allowed to return in 1428. Alberti was sent to boarding school in Padua, then studied law at
Bologna Bologna (, , ; egl, label=, Bulåggna ; lat, Bonōnia) is the capital and largest city of the region in . It is the seventh most populous city in Italy with about 390,000 inhabitants and 150 different nationalities. Its is home to more t ...

Bologna
.Melissa Snell,
Leon Battsta Alberti
', About.com: Medieval History.
He lived for a time in
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the ...

Florence
, then in 1431 travelled to Rome, where he took
holy orders In certain Christian churches Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church ...
and entered the service of the papal court. During this time he studied the ancient ruins, which excited his interest in architecture and strongly influenced the form of the buildings that he designed.''The Renaissance:a Illustrated Encyclopedia'', Octopus (1979) Alberti was gifted in many ways. He was tall, strong, and a fine athlete who could ride the wildest horse and jump over a person's head. He distinguished himself as a writer while still a child at school, and by the age of twenty had written a play that was successfully passed off as a genuine piece of Classical literature. In 1435 he began his first major written work, '' Della pittura'', which was inspired by the burgeoning pictorial art in Florence in the early fifteenth century. In this work he analysed the nature of painting and explored the elements of perspective, composition, and colour. In 1438 he began to focus more on architecture and was encouraged by the Marchese
Leonello d'Este Leonello d'Este (also spelled Lionello; 21 September 1407 – 1 October 1450) was Marquis of Ferrara, Duchy of Modena, Modena, and Reggio Emilia from 1441 to 1450. Despite the presence of legitimate children, Leonello was favoured by his father ...
of Ferrara, for whom he built a small
triumphal arch Image:Arc by night, Paris 27 June 2012.jpg, 300px, The Arc de Triomphe, Paris A triumphal arch is a free-standing monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest fo ...

triumphal arch
to support an equestrian statue of Leonello's father. In 1447 Alberti became architectural advisor to
Pope Nicholas V Pope Nicholas V ( la, Nicholaus V; 13 November 1397 – 24 March 1455), born Tommaso Parentucelli, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denomination ...

Pope Nicholas V
and was involved in several projects at the
Vatican Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Ci ...

Vatican
.


First major commission

His first major architectural commission was in 1446 for the facade of the
Rucellai Palace Image:Rucellai.jpg, Palazzo Rucellai. Palazzo Rucellai is a palatial fifteenth-century townhouse on the Via della Vigna Nuova in Florence, Italy. The Rucellai Palace is believed by most scholars to have been designed for Giovanni di Paolo Rucell ...
in Florence. This was followed in 1450 by a commission from
Sigismondo Malatesta Sigismondo Malatesta (November 1498 – December 1553) was an Italian condottiero. Biography The son of Pandolfaccio Malatesta, Sigismondo strove for his whole life to reconquer the ancestral seat of the House of Malatesta, Malatesta seignory, Rim ...
to transform the Gothic church of San Francesco in
Rimini Rimini ( , ; rgn, Rémin; la, Ariminum) is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It sprawls along the Adriatic Sea, on the coast between the rivers Marecchia (the ancient ''Ariminus ...

Rimini
into a memorial chapel, the
Tempio Malatestiano The Tempio Malatestiano is the unfinished cathedral A cathedral is a church (building), church that contains the ''cathedra'' () of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, Annual Conference, conference, or episcopate. C ...
. In Florence, he designed the upper parts of the facade for the Dominican church of
Santa Maria Novella Santa Maria Novella is a church in Florence, Italy, situated opposite, and lending its name to, the city's Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station, main railway station. Chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence, and is the c ...

Santa Maria Novella
, famously bridging the nave and lower aisles with two ornately inlaid scrolls, solving a visual problem and setting a precedent to be followed by architects of churches for four hundred years.Joseph Rykwert, ed., ''Leon Baptiste Alberti'', Architectul Design, Vol 49 No 5-6, London In 1452, he completed ''
De re aedificatoria#REDIRECT De re aedificatoria ''De re aedificatoria'' (''On the Art of Building'') is a classic architectural treatise written by Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance human ...
'', a treatise on architecture, using as its basis the work of
Vitruvius Vitruvius (; c. 80–70 BC – after c. 15 BC) was a Roman architect and engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled ''De architectura (''On architecture'', published as ''Ten Books on Architecture'') i ...

Vitruvius
and influenced by the archaeological remains of Rome. The work was not published until 1485. It was followed in 1464 by his less influential work, ''De statua'', in which he examines sculpture. Alberti's only known sculpture is a self-portrait medallion, sometimes attributed to
Pisanello Pisanello (c. 1380/1395c. 1450/1455), born Antonio di Puccio Pisano or Antonio di Puccio da Cereto, also erroneously called Vittore Pisano by Giorgio Vasari, was one of the most distinguished painters of the early Italian Renaissance and Quattro ...
. Alberti was employed to design two churches in
Mantua Mantua ( ; it, Mantova ; Lombard language, Lombard and la, Mantua) is a city and ''comune'' in Lombardy, Italy, and capital of the Province of Mantua, province of the same name. In 2016, Mantua was designated as the Italian Capital of Culture ...

Mantua
, San Sebastiano, which was never completed and for which Alberti's intention can only be speculated upon, and the
Basilica of Sant'Andrea The Basilica di Sant'Andrea is the church of a monastery in Vercelli, Piedmont, northern Italy, founded in 1219 by Cardinal Guala Bicchieri and completed in 1227. It represents an early example of Gothic architecture in Italy, inspired by Cisterci ...
. The design for the latter church was completed in 1471, a year before Alberti's death, but was brought to completion and is his most significant work.


Alberti as artist

As an artist, Alberti distinguished himself from the ordinary craftsman educated in workshops. He was a
humanist Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or some ...

humanist
who followed
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
and
Plotinus Plotinus (; grc-gre, Πλωτῖνος, ''Plōtînos'';  – 270 CE) was a major Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surround ...

Plotinus
, and part of the rapidly expanding entourage of intellectuals and artisans supported by the courts of the princes and lords of the time. As a member of noble family and as part of the Roman
curia Curia (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, ...

curia
, Alberti had special status. He was a welcomed guest at the Este court in
Ferrara Ferrara (, ; egl, Fràra ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a of , roughly equivalent to a or . Importance and function The provides essential public services: of births and deaths, , and maintenance of local roads and ...

Ferrara
, and in
Urbino Urbino ( ; ; Romagnol: ''Urbìn'') is a walled city in the Marche Marche ( , ) is one of the Regions of Italy, twenty regions of Italy. In English, the region is referred to as The Marches ( ). The region is located in the Central Italy, ...

Urbino
he spent part of the hot-weather season with the soldier-prince
Federico III da Montefeltro Federico da Montefeltro, also known as Federico III da Montefeltro KG (7 June 1422 – 10 September 1482), was one of the most successful condottieri ''Condottieri'' (; singular ''condottiero'' or ''condottiere'') were Italian captain Ca ...
. The
Duke of Urbino The Duchy of Urbino was an independent duchy in Early modern period, early modern central Italy, corresponding to the northern half of the modern region of Marche. It was directly annexed by the Papal States in 1625. It was bordered by the Adri ...
was a shrewd military commander, who generously spent money on the
patronage Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and the wealthy have provided to artists su ...

patronage
of art. Alberti planned to dedicate his
treatise A treatise is a formal Formal, formality, informal or informality imply the complying with, or not complying with, some set theory, set of requirements (substantial form, forms, in Ancient Greek). They may refer to: Dress code and events * For ...
on architecture to his friend. Among Alberti's smaller studies, pioneering in their field, were a treatise in
cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ''-logia ''-logy'' is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek ending in (''- ...

cryptography
, '' De componendis cifris'', and the first Italian
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
. With the Florentine cosmographer Paolo Toscanelli he collaborated in astronomy, a close science to geography at that time, and he produced a small Latin work on geography, ''Descriptio urbis Romae'' (''The Panorama of the City of Rome''). Just a few years before his death, Alberti completed ''De iciarchia'' (''On Ruling the Household''), a dialogue about Florence during the
Medici The House of Medici ( , ) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social ...

Medici
rule. Having taken holy orders, Alberti never married. He loved animals and had a pet dog, a mongrel, for whom he wrote a
panegyric A panegyric ( or ) is a formal public speech, or (in later use) written verse, delivered in high praise of a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness ...
, (''Canis''). Vasari describes Alberti as "an admirable citizen, a man of culture... a friend of talented men, open and courteous with everyone. He always lived honourably and like the gentleman he was."Vasari, ''The Lives of the Artists'' Alberti died in Rome on 25 April 1472 at the age of 68.


Publications

Alberti regarded mathematics as a starting point for the discussion of art and the sciences. "To make clear my exposition in writing this brief commentary on painting," Alberti began his treatise, ''Della Pittura'' (On Painting) that he dedicated to Brunelleschi, "I will take first from the mathematicians those things with which my subject is concerned." ''Della pittura'' (also known in Latin as ''
De Pictura ''De pictura'' (English: "On Painting") is a treatise or commentarii written by the Italian humanist and artist Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, arti ...
'') relied on its scientific content on classical
optics Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of optical instruments, instruments that use or Photodetector, detect it. Optics usually describes t ...

optics
in determining perspective as a geometric instrument of artistic and architectural representation. Alberti was well-versed in the sciences of his age. His knowledge of
optics Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of optical instruments, instruments that use or Photodetector, detect it. Optics usually describes t ...

optics
was connected to the handed-down long-standing tradition of the ''Kitab al-manazir'' (''The Optics''; ''De aspectibus'') of the Arab polymath
Alhazen Ḥasan Ibn al-Haytham (Latinization of names, Latinized as Alhazen ; full name ; ) was a Muslim Arab Mathematics in medieval Islam, mathematician, Astronomy in the medieval Islamic world, astronomer, and Physics in the medieval Islamic world, ...
(
Ibn al-Haytham Ḥasan Ibn al-Haytham (Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920s and ...

Ibn al-Haytham
, d. c. 1041), which was mediated by Franciscan optical workshops of the thirteenth-century ''Perspectivae'' traditions of scholars such as
Roger Bacon Roger Bacon (; la, Rogerus or ', also '' Rogerus''; ), also known by the scholastic accolade It was customary in the European Middle Ages, more precisely in the period of scholasticism which extended into early modern times, to designate th ...
,
John Peckham John Peckham (c. 1230 – 8 December 1292) was Archbishop of Canterbury in the years 1279–1292. He was a native of Sussex who was educated at Lewes Priory and became a Friar Minor about 1250. He studied at the University of Paris under B ...
, and
Witelo Vitello (or Witelo; fl. c. 1270–1285) was a Silesian friar A friar is a brother and a member of one of the mendicant orders founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic characte ...
(similar influences are also traceable in the third commentary of
Lorenzo Ghiberti Lorenzo Ghiberti (, , ; 1378 – 1 December 1455), born Lorenzo di Bartolo, was a Florentine Florentine most commonly refers to: * a person or thing from Florence, a city in Italy * the Florentine dialect Florentine may also refer to: Place ...

Lorenzo Ghiberti
, ''Commentario terzo''). In both ''Della pittura'' and ''De statua'', Alberti stressed that "all steps of learning should be sought from nature". The ultimate aim of an artist is to imitate nature. Painters and sculptors strive "through by different skills, at the same goal, namely that as nearly as possible the work they have undertaken shall appear to the observer to be similar to the real objects of nature". However, Alberti did not mean that artists should imitate nature objectively, as it is, but the artist should be especially attentive to beauty, "for in painting beauty is as pleasing as it is necessary". The work of art is, according to Alberti, so constructed that it is impossible to take anything away from it or to add anything to it, without impairing the beauty of the whole. Beauty was for Alberti "the harmony of all parts in relation to one another," and subsequently "this concord is realized in a particular number, proportion, and arrangement demanded by harmony". Alberti's thoughts on harmony were not new—they could be traced back to Pythagoras—but he set them in a fresh context, which fit in well with the contemporary aesthetic discourse. In Rome, Alberti had plenty of time to study its ancient sites, ruins, and objects. His detailed observations, included in his ''
De re aedificatoria#REDIRECT De re aedificatoria ''De re aedificatoria'' (''On the Art of Building'') is a classic architectural treatise written by Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance human ...
'' (1452, ''On the Art of Building''),Alberti, Leon Battista. On ''the Art of Building in Ten Books''. Trans. Leach, N., Rykwert, J., & Tavenor, R. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1988 were patterned after the ''De architectura'' by the Roman architect and engineer
Vitruvius Vitruvius (; c. 80–70 BC – after c. 15 BC) was a Roman architect and engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled ''De architectura (''On architecture'', published as ''Ten Books on Architecture'') i ...

Vitruvius
(
fl. ''Floruit'' (), abbreviated fl. (or occasionally flor.), Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communic ...
46–30 BC). The work was the first architectural treatise of the Renaissance. It covered a wide range of subjects, from history to town planning, and engineering to the philosophy of beauty. ''De re aedificatoria,'' a large and expensive book, was not fully published until 1485, after which it became a major reference for architects. However, the book was written "not only for craftsmen but also for anyone interested in the noble arts", as Alberti put it. Originally published in Latin, the first Italian edition came out in 1546. and the standard Italian edition by was published in 1550. Pope
Nicholas V Pope Nicholas V ( la, Nicholaus V; 13 November 1397 – 24 March 1455), born Tommaso Parentucelli, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 ...

Nicholas V
, to whom Alberti dedicated the whole work, dreamed of rebuilding the city of Rome, but he managed to realize only a fragment of his visionary plans. Through his book, Alberti opened up his theories and ideals of the Florentine Renaissance to architects, scholars, and others. Alberti wrote ''I Libri della famiglia''—which discussed education, marriage, household management, and money—in the Tuscan dialect. The work was not printed until 1843. Like
Erasmus Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (; English: Erasmus of Rotterdam;''Erasmus'' was his baptismal name, given after St. Erasmus of Formiae. ''Desiderius'' was a self-adopted additional name, which he used from 1496. The ''Roterodamus'' was a schol ...

Erasmus
decades later, Alberti stressed the need for a reform in education. He noted that "the care of very young children is women's work, for nurses or the mother", and that at the earliest possible age children should be taught the alphabet. With great hopes, he gave the work to his family to read, but in his autobiography Alberti confesses that "he could hardly avoid feeling rage, moreover, when he saw some of his relatives openly ridiculing both the whole work and the author's futile enterprise along it". ''Momus'', written between 1443 and 1450, was a notable comedy about the Olympian deities. It has been considered as a
roman à clef ''Roman à clef'' (, anglicised Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or unders ...
Jupiter Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the List of Solar System objects by size, largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass more than two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined, but ...
has been identified in some sources as Pope Eugenius IV and Pope Nicholas V. Alberti borrowed many of its characters from
Lucian Lucian of Samosata, '; la, Lucianus Samosatensis (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referre ...
, one of his favorite Greek writers. The name of its hero, Momus, refers to the Greek word for blame or criticism. After being expelled from heaven,
Momus Momus (; Ancient Greek: Μῶμος ''Momos'') in Greek mythology was the personification of satire and mockery, two stories about whom figure among Aesop's Fables. During the Renaissance, several literary works used him as a mouthpiece for their ...
, the god of mockery, is eventually castrated. Jupiter and the other deities come down to earth also, but they return to heaven after Jupiter breaks his nose in a great storm.


Architectural works

Alberti did not concern himself with the practicalities of building, and very few of his major works were brought to completion. As a designer and a student of Vitruvius and of ancient Roman remains, he grasped the nature of column and lintel architecture, from the visual rather than structural viewpoint, and correctly employed the
Classical orders An order in architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted).jpg, upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte ...
, unlike his contemporary,
Brunelleschi Filippo Brunelleschi ( , , also known as Pippo; 1377 – 15 April 1446), considered to be a founding father of Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition f ...
, who used the Classical column and pilaster in a free interpretation. Among Alberti's concerns was the social effect of architecture, and to this end he was very well aware of the cityscape. This is demonstrated by his inclusion, at the Rucellai Palace, of a continuous bench for seating at the level of the basement. Alberti anticipated the principle of street hierarchy, with wide main streets connected to secondary streets, and buildings of equal height. In Rome he was employed by
Pope Nicholas V Pope Nicholas V ( la, Nicholaus V; 13 November 1397 – 24 March 1455), born Tommaso Parentucelli, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denomination ...

Pope Nicholas V
for the restoration of the
Roman aqueduct The Ancient Rome, Romans constructed Aqueduct (bridge), aqueducts throughout their Roman Republic, Republic and later Roman Empire, Empire, to bring water from outside sources into cities and towns. Aqueduct water supplied Thermae, public baths, ...

Roman aqueduct
of
Acqua VergineImage:Colonna - ingresso acquedotto Acqua Vergine a via del Nazzareno 1611.JPG, 250px, The still-functioning entrance to the inspection duct of the Acqua Vergine, at Via del Nazareno. Acqua Vergine is one of several List of aqueducts in the city of ...

Acqua Vergine
, which
debouch In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...
ed into a simple basin designed by Alberti, which was swept away later by the Baroque
Trevi Fountain The Trevi Fountain ( it, Fontana di Trevi) is a fountain A fountain, from the "fons" ( "fontis"), meaning source or , is a decorative reservoir for discharging into a basin to supply . It is also a structure that jets water into the air ...

Trevi Fountain
. In some studies, the authors propose that the
Villa Medici in Fiesole The villa in the 15th century., 240px The Villa Medici is a patrician villa in Fiesole Fiesole () is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a basic Administrative division, constituent entity of Italy, roughly equivalent to a townsh ...
might owe its design to Alberti, not to
Michelozzo Michelozzo di Bartolomeo Michelozzi (1396 – 7 October 1472) was an Italian architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection w ...
, and that it then became the prototype of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
villa with early terraced hillside landscape A landscape is the visible features of an area of land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea leve ...

villa
. This hilltop dwelling, commissioned by Giovanni de' Medici, Cosimo il Vecchio's second son, with its view over the city, may be the very first example of a Renaissance villa: that is to say it follows the Albertian criteria for rendering a country dwelling a "villa suburbana". Under this perspective the Villa Medici in Fiesole could therefore be considered the "muse" for numerous other buildings, not only in the Florence area, which from the end of the fifteenth century onward find inspiration and creative innovation from it.


Tempio Malatestiano, Rimini

The
Tempio Malatestiano The Tempio Malatestiano is the unfinished cathedral A cathedral is a church (building), church that contains the ''cathedra'' () of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, Annual Conference, conference, or episcopate. C ...
in
Rimini Rimini ( , ; rgn, Rémin; la, Ariminum) is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It sprawls along the Adriatic Sea, on the coast between the rivers Marecchia (the ancient ''Ariminus ...

Rimini
(1447, 1453–60)
Franco BorsiFranco Borsi (1925-2008) was an Italian architect and architectural historian. He was professor of history of architecture at the University of Florence, and wrote on Giovanni Michelucci, Leon Battista Alberti, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Donato Bramant ...
. ''Leon Battista Alberti''. New York: Harper & Row, (1977)
is the rebuilding of a Gothic church. The facade, with its dynamic play of forms, was left incomplete.


Façade of Palazzo Rucellai

The design of the façade of the
Palazzo Rucellai Palazzo Rucellai. Palazzo Rucellai is a palatial fifteenth-century townhouse on the Via della Vigna Nuova in Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany Regions of Italy, region. It i ...

Palazzo Rucellai
(1446–51) was one of several commissions for the Rucellai family. The design overlays a grid of shallow pilasters and cornices in the Classical manner onto rusticated masonry, and is surmounted by a heavy cornice. The inner courtyard has Corinthian columns. The palace set a standard in the use of Classical elements that is original in civic buildings in Florence, and greatly influenced later palazzi. The work was executed by Bernardo Rosselino.


Santa Maria Novella

At
Santa Maria Novella Santa Maria Novella is a church in Florence, Italy, situated opposite, and lending its name to, the city's Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station, main railway station. Chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence, and is the c ...

Santa Maria Novella
, Florence, between (1448–70) the upper facade was constructed to the design of Alberti. It was a challenging task, as the lower level already had three doorways and six
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...
niches containing tombs and employing the polychrome marble typical of Florentine churches, such as
San Miniato al Monte San Miniato al Monte (St. Minias on the Mountain) is a basilica In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's Forum (Roman), forum. The basilica was in the L ...

San Miniato al Monte
and the
Baptistery of Florence The Florence Baptistery, also known as the Baptistery of Saint John ( it, Battistero di San Giovanni), is a religious building in Florence, Italy, and has the status of a minor basilica. The octagonal baptistery stands in both the Piazza del Duom ...
. The design also incorporates an that was already in place. Alberti introduced Classical features around the portico and spread the polychromy over the entire facade in a manner that includes Classical proportions and elements such as pilasters, cornices, and a pediment in the Classical style, ornamented with a sunburst in tesserae, rather than sculpture. The best known feature of this typically aisled church is the manner in which Alberti has solved the problem of visually bridging the different levels of the central nave and much lower side aisles. He employed two large scrolls, which were to become a standard feature of church facades in the later Renaissance, Baroque, and
Classical Revival Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of Style (visual arts), style in ...
buildings.


Pienza

Alberti is considered to have been the consultant for the design of the Piazza Pio II,
Pienza Pienza () is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a basic Administrative division, constituent entity of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides many of the basic civil functions: ...

Pienza
. The village, previously called Corsignano, was redesigned beginning around 1459. It was the birthplace of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini,
Pope Pius II Pope Pius II ( la, Pius PP. II, it, Pio II), born Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini ( la, Aeneas Silvius Bartholomeus; 18 October 1405 – 14 August 1464), was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the R ...

Pope Pius II
, in whose employ Alberti served. Pius II wanted to use the village as a retreat, but needed for it to reflect the dignity of his position. The piazza is a
trapezoid In Euclidean geometry Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system attributed to Alexandrian Greek mathematics , Greek mathematician Euclid, which he described in his textbook on geometry: the ''Euclid's Elements, Elements''. Euclid's meth ...

trapezoid
shape defined by four buildings, with a focus on Pienza Cathedral and passages on either side opening onto a landscape view. The principal residence, ''Palazzo Piccolomini'', is on the western side. It has three stories, articulated by pilasters and entablature courses, with a twin-lighted set within each bay. This structure is similar to Alberti's
Palazzo Rucellai Palazzo Rucellai. Palazzo Rucellai is a palatial fifteenth-century townhouse on the Via della Vigna Nuova in Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany Regions of Italy, region. It i ...

Palazzo Rucellai
in Florence and other later palaces. Noteworthy is the internal court of the palazzo. The back of the palace, to the south, is defined by
loggia A loggia ( , usually , ) is an feature which is a covered exterior or corridor usually on an upper level, or sometimes ground level. The outer wall is open to the elements, usually supported by a series of s or es. They can be on principa ...

loggia
on all three floors that overlook an enclosed
Italian Renaissance garden The Italian Renaissance garden was a new style of garden which emerged in the late 15th century at villas in Rome and Florence, inspired by classical ideals of order and beauty, and intended for the pleasure of the view of the garden and the landsc ...
with ''
Giardino all'italiana The giardino all'italiana () or Italian garden is stylistically based on symmetry, axial geometry and on the principle of imposing order over nature. It influenced the history of gardening The history of gardening may be considered as Aestheti ...
'' era modifications, and spectacular views into the distant landscape of the
Val d'Orcia The Val d'Orcia or Valdorcia () is a region of Tuscany, central Italy, which extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. Its gentle, cultivated hills are occasionally broken by gullies and by picturesque towns and villages such as Pien ...

Val d'Orcia
and Pope Pius's beloved Mount Amiata beyond. Below this garden is a vaulted stable that had stalls for a hundred horses. The design, which radically transformed the center of the town, included a palace for the pope, a church, a town hall, and a building for the bishops who would accompany the Pope on his trips. Pienza is considered an early example of Renaissance urban planning.


Sant' Andrea, Mantua

The
Basilica of Sant'Andrea The Basilica di Sant'Andrea is the church of a monastery in Vercelli, Piedmont, northern Italy, founded in 1219 by Cardinal Guala Bicchieri and completed in 1227. It represents an early example of Gothic architecture in Italy, inspired by Cisterci ...
,
Mantua Mantua ( ; it, Mantova ; Lombard language, Lombard and la, Mantua) is a city and ''comune'' in Lombardy, Italy, and capital of the Province of Mantua, province of the same name. In 2016, Mantua was designated as the Italian Capital of Culture ...

Mantua
was begun in 1471, the year before Alberti's death. It was brought to completion and is his most significant work employing the
triumphal arch Image:Arc by night, Paris 27 June 2012.jpg, 300px, The Arc de Triomphe, Paris A triumphal arch is a free-standing monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest fo ...

triumphal arch
motif, both for its facade and interior, and influencing many works that were to follow. Alberti perceived the role of architect as designer. Unlike
Brunelleschi Filippo Brunelleschi ( , , also known as Pippo; 1377 – 15 April 1446), considered to be a founding father of Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition f ...
, he had no interest in the construction, leaving the practicalities to builders and the oversight to others.


Other buildings

* San Sebastiano, Mantua, (begun 1458) the unfinished facade of which has promoted much speculation as to Alberti's intention * Sepolcro Rucellai in
San Pancrazio The church of San Pancrazio ( en, St Pancras; la, S. Pancratii) is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the ...
, 1467) * The Tribune for Santissima Annunziata, Florence (1470, completed with alterations, 1477)


Painting

Giorgio Vasari Giorgio Vasari (, also , ; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian painter, architect, engineer, writer, and historian, best known for his ''Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects ''The Lives of the Most Excellen ...

Giorgio Vasari
, who argued that historical progress in art reached its peak in
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known simply as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance In art history, the High Renaissance was ...

Michelangelo
, emphasized Alberti's scholarly achievements, not his artistic talents: "He spent his time finding out about the world and studying the proportions of antiquities; but above all, following his natural genius, he concentrated on writing rather than on applied work."
Leonardo Leonardo is a masculine given name, the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese equivalent of the English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Ang ...

Leonardo
, who ironically called himself "an uneducated person" (''omo senza lettere''), followed Alberti in the view that painting is science. However, as a scientist, Leonardo was more empirical than Alberti, who was a theorist and did not have similar interest in practice. Alberti believed in ideal beauty, but Leonardo filled his notebooks with observations on human proportions, page after page, ending with his famous drawing of the
Vitruvian man The ''Vitruvian Man'' ( Italian: ''L'uomo vitruviano'' ; originally known as ''Le proporzioni del corpo umano secondo Vitruvio'', lit. 'The proportions of the human body according to Vitruvius') is a drawing Drawing is a form of visual art ...
, a human figure related to a square and a circle. In ''On Painting'', Alberti uses the expression "We Painters", but as a painter, or sculptor, he was a dilettante. "In painting Alberti achieved nothing of any great importance or beauty", wrote Vasari. "The very few paintings of his that are extant are far from perfect, but this is not surprising since he devoted himself more to his studies than to draughtsmanship."
Jacob Burckhardt Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt (25 May 1818 – 8 August 1897) was a Swiss historian of art and culture and an influential figure in the historiography of both fields. He is known as one of the major progenitors of cultural history. Sigfrie ...
portrayed Alberti in ''The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy'' as a truly universal genius. "And Leonardo Da Vinci was to Alberti as the finisher to the beginner, as the master to the dilettante. Would only that Vasari's work were here supplemented by a description like that of Alberti! The colossal outlines of Leonardo's nature can never be more than dimly and distantly conceived."Jacob Burckhardt in ''The Civilization of the Renaissance Italy'', 2.1, 1860. Alberti is said to appear in Mantegna's great frescoes in the
Camera degli SposiThe Camera degli Sposi ("bridal chamber"), sometimes known as the Camera picta ("painted chamber"), is a room fresco Fresco (plural ''frescos'' or ''frescoes'') is a technique of Mural, mural painting executed upon freshly laid ("wet") lime plast ...
, as the older man dressed in dark red clothes, who whispers in the ear of Ludovico Gonzaga, the ruler of Mantua. In Alberti's self-portrait, a large
plaquette Peter Flötner, ''Vanitas'', 1535–1540, gilt bronze A plaquette (, ''small plaque'') is a small low relief sculpture in bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry ...

plaquette
, he is clothed as a Roman. To the left of his profile is a winged eye. On the reverse side is the question, ''Quid tum?'' (what then), taken from
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three ...

Virgil
's ''Eclogues'': "So what, if Amyntas is dark? (''quid tum si fuscus Amyntas?'') Violets are black, and hyacinths are black."


Contributions

Alberti made a variety of contributions to several fields: * Alberti was the creator of a theory called "historia". In his treatise ''
De pictura ''De pictura'' (English: "On Painting") is a treatise or commentarii written by the Italian humanist and artist Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, arti ...
'' (1435) he explains the theory of the accumulation of people, animals, and buildings, which create harmony amongst each other, and "hold the eye of the learned and unlearned spectator for a long while with a certain sense of pleasure and emotion". ''
De pictura ''De pictura'' (English: "On Painting") is a treatise or commentarii written by the Italian humanist and artist Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, arti ...
'' ("On Painting") contained the first scientific study of perspective. An Italian translation of ''De pictura'' (''Della pittura'') was published in 1436, one year after the original Latin version and addressed
Filippo Brunelleschi Filippo is an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, ...

Filippo Brunelleschi
in the preface. The Latin version had been dedicated to Alberti's humanist patron, Gianfrancesco Gonzaga of Mantua. He also wrote works on sculpture, '' De statua''. * Alberti used his artistic treatises to propound a new humanistic theory of art. He drew on his contacts with early Quattrocento artists such as Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Ghiberti to provide a practical handbook for the renaissance artist. * Alberti wrote an influential work on architecture, ''
De re aedificatoria#REDIRECT De re aedificatoria ''De re aedificatoria'' (''On the Art of Building'') is a classic architectural treatise written by Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance human ...
'', which by the sixteenth century had been translated into Italian (by Cosimo Bartoli), French, Spanish, and English. An English translation was by
Giacomo Leoni , Cheshire Cheshire ( ; (Welsh language, Welsh: ''Sir Gaer'') formerly the County Palatine of Chester) is a Ceremonial counties of England, county in the North West of England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire ...
in the early eighteenth century. Newer translations are now available. * Whilst Alberti's treatises on painting and architecture have been hailed as the founding texts of a new form of art, breaking from the Gothic past, it is impossible to know the extent of their practical impact within his lifetime. His praise of the ''Calumny of Apelles'' led to several attempts to emulate it, including paintings by Botticelli and Signorelli. His stylistic ideals have been put into practice in the works of ,
Piero della Francesca Piero della Francesca (, also , ; – 12 October 1492), originally named Piero di Benedetto, was an list of Italian painters, Italian painter of the Italian Renaissance, Early Renaissance. To contemporaries he was also known as a mathematician ...

Piero della Francesca
, and
Fra Angelico Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro; February 18, 1455) was an Italians, Italian List of Italian painters, painter of the Early Italian Renaissance, Renaissance, described by Giorgio Vasari, Vasari in his ''Lives of the Artists'' as having "a ra ...
. But how far Alberti was responsible for these innovations and how far he was simply articulating the trends of the artistic movement, with which his practical experience had made him familiar, is impossible to ascertain. * He was so skilled in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
verse that a comedy he wrote in his twentieth year, entitled ''Philodoxius'', would later deceive the younger
Aldus Manutius Aldus Pius Manutius (; it, Aldo Pio Manuzio; 1449/14526 February 1515) was an Italian humanist Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...

Aldus Manutius
, who edited and published it as the genuine work of 'Lepidus Comicus'. * He has been credited with being the author, or alternatively, the designer of the
woodcut Woodcut is a relief printing Image:Principle of Relief Printing.svg, The basic concept of relief printing. ''A'' is the block or matrix; ''B'' is the paper; the thick black lines are the inked areas. (The thickness of the ink is greatly exagg ...
illustrations, of the ''
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili ''Hypnerotomachia Poliphili'' (; from Greek ὕπνος ''hýpnos'' 'sleep', ἔρως ''érōs'' 'love', and μάχη ''máchē'' 'fight'), called in English ''Poliphilo's Strife of Love in a Dream'' or ''The Dream of Poliphilus'', is a book said ...
'', a strange
fantasy Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction involving Magic (supernatural), magical elements, typically set in a fictional universe and sometimes inspired by mythology and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became fantasy lit ...

fantasy
novel. * Apart from his treatises on the arts, Alberti also wrote: ''Philodoxus'' ("Lover of Glory", 1424), ''De commodis litterarum atque incommodis'' ("On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Literary Studies", 1429), ''Intercoenales'' ("Table Talk", c. 1429), ''Della famiglia'' ("On the Family", begun 1432), ''Vita S. Potiti'' ("Life of St. Potitus", 1433), ''De iure'' (On Law, 1437), ''Theogenius'' ("The Origin of the Gods", c. 1440), ''Profugorium ab aerumna'' ("Refuge from Mental Anguish",), ''Momus'' (1450), and ''De Iciarchia'' ("On the Prince", 1468). These and other works were translated and printed in Venice by the humanist in 1586. * Alberti was an accomplished
cryptographer Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ', "study", respectively), is the practice and study of techniques for in the presence of behavior. More generally, cryptograp ...

cryptographer
by the standard of his day and invented the first
polyalphabetic cipher A polyalphabetic cipher is any cipher In cryptography, a cipher (or cypher) is an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption—a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure. An alternative, less common term is '' ...
, which is now known as the
Alberti cipherimage:Alberti cipher disk.JPG, 250px, The Alberti Cipher disk. The Alberti Cipher created in In 1467 by an Italy, Italian architect Leon Battista Alberti was one of the first polyalphabetic ciphers. In the opening pages of his treatise ' he explained ...
, and machine-assisted encryption using his
Cipher DiskImage:UnionCipherDisk.nsa.jpg, 250px, The Union (American Civil War), Union Cipher Disk from the American Civil War was 3.75 inches (95 mm) in diameter and made of light yellow heavy card stock. It consisted of two concentric disks of unequal size re ...

Cipher Disk
. The polyalphabetic cipher was, at least in principle (for it was not properly used for several hundred years) the most significant advance in cryptography since before Julius Caesar's time. Cryptography historian David Kahn entitles him the "Father of Western Cryptography", pointing to three significant advances in the field that can be attributed to Alberti: "the earliest Western exposition of cryptanalysis, the invention of polyalphabetic substitution, and the invention of enciphered code". * According to Alberti, in a short autobiography written c. 1438 in Latin and in the third person, (many but not all scholars consider this work to be an autobiography) he was capable of "standing with his feet together, and springing over a man's head." The autobiography survives thanks to an eighteenth-century transcription by Antonio Muratori. Alberti also claimed that he "excelled in all bodily exercises; could, with feet tied, leap over a standing man; could in the great cathedral, throw a coin far up to ring against the vault; amused himself by taming wild horses and climbing mountains". Needless to say, many in the Renaissance promoted themselves in various ways and Alberti's eagerness to promote his skills should be understood, to some extent, within that framework. (This advice should be followed in reading the above information, some of which originates in this so-called autobiography.) * Alberti claimed in his "autobiography" to be an accomplished musician and organist, but there is no hard evidence to support this claim. In fact, musical posers were not uncommon in his day (see the lyrics to the song ''Musica Son'', by Francesco Landini, for complaints to this effect.) He held the appointment of canon in the metropolitan
church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is usually used to refer to the p ...

church
of
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
, and thus – perhaps – had the leisure to devote himself to this art, but this is only speculation. Vasari also agreed with this. * He was interested in the drawing of
map A map is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different s and s. A ...

map
s and worked with the
astronomer An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of Earth. They observe astronomical objects such as stars, planets, natural satellite, moons, comets and galaxy, g ...

astronomer
, astrologer, and
cartographer Cartography (; from Greek χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using maps. Combining science Science (from the Latin word ''scienti ...

cartographer
Paolo Toscanelli. * In terms of Aesthetics Alberti is one of the first defining the work of art as imitation of nature, exactly as a selection of its most beautiful parts: "So let's take from nature what we are going to paint, and from nature we choose the most beautiful and worthy things".


Works in print

* ''
De Pictura ''De pictura'' (English: "On Painting") is a treatise or commentarii written by the Italian humanist and artist Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, arti ...
'', 1435. ''On Painting'', in English, ''De Pictura'', in Latin, ; ''Della Pittura'', in Italian (1804 . * ''Momus,'' Latin text and English translation, 2003 * ''De re aedificatoria'' (1452, Ten Books on Architecture). Alberti, Leon Battista. De re aedificatoria. On the art of building in ten books. (translated by Joseph Rykwert, Robert Tavernor and Neil Leach). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1988. .
Latin, French and Italian editions
and i
English translation
* '' De Cifris'' A Treatise on Ciphers (1467), trans. A. Zaccagnini. Foreword by David Kahn, Galimberti, Torino 1997. * * "Leon Battista Alberti. On Painting. A New Translation an Critical Edition", Edited and Translated by , Cambridge University Press, New York, May 2011, ,
books.google.de
* ''I libri della famiglia'', Italian edition * "Dinner pieces". A Translation of the ''Intercenales'' by David Marsh. Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York, Binghamton 1987. * "Descriptio urbis Romae. Leon Battista Alberti's Delineation of the city of Rome". Peter Hicks, Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State university 2007.


Legacy

Borsi states that Alberti's writings on architecture continue to influence modern and contemporary architecture stating: "The organicism and nature-worship of Wright, the neat classicism of van der Mies, the regulatory outlines and anthropomorphic, harmonic, modular systems of Le Corbusier, and Kahn's revival of the 'antique' are all elements that tempt one to trace Alberti's influence on modern architecture."


In popular culture

* Leon Battista Alberti is a major character in
Roberto Rossellini Roberto Gastone Zeffiro Rossellini (8 May 1906 – 3 June 1977) was an Italian film director, producer, and screenwriter. He was one of the most prominent directors of the Italian neorealist Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related ...

Roberto Rossellini
's three-part television film ''
The Age of the Medici ''The Age of the Medici'', originally released in Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Ital ...
'' (1973), with the third and final part, ''Leon Battista Alberti: Humanism'', centering on him, his works (such as
Santa Maria Novella Santa Maria Novella is a church in Florence, Italy, situated opposite, and lending its name to, the city's Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station, main railway station. Chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence, and is the c ...

Santa Maria Novella
), and his thought. He is played by Italian actor Virginio Gazzolo.The Criterion Collection
The Age of the Medici (1973) , The Criterion Collection
/ref> * Mentioned in the 1994 film ''
Renaissance Man A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, ', "having learned much"; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rom ...
'' or ''Army Intelligence'' starring
Danny DeVito Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. (born November 17, 1944) is an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. He gained prominence for his portrayal of the taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma in the television series ''Taxi A taxi, also known ...
. * Mentioned in the 2004 book '' The Rule of Four'' by
Ian Caldwell Ian Mackinnon Caldwell is an American novelist A novelist is an author or writer of novels, though often novelists also write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction. Some novelists are professional novelists, thus make a living wage, livi ...
and
Dustin Thomason Dustin Thomason (born 1976) is an American writer and producer. Thomason co-created and was showrunner for Hulu's '' Castle Rock'' and ABC drama ''The Evidence'' and has written for and executive produced numerous television series, including Fox' ...


Notes


References



Magda Saura, "Building codes in the architectural treatise De re aedificatoria,"

''Third International Congress on Construction History'', Cottbus, May 2009.

http://hdl.handle.net/2117/14252


Further reading

* Clark, Kenneth. "Leon Battista Alberti: a Renaissance Personality." ''History Today'' (July 1951) 1#7 pp 11-18 online * Francesco Borsi, ''Leon Battista Alberti. Das Gesamtwerk''. Stuttgart 1982 * Günther Fischer, ''Leon Battista Alberti. Sein Leben und seine Architekturtheorie''. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt 2012
Fontana-Giusti, Korolija Gordana, "The Cutting Surface: On Perspective as a Section, Its Relationship to Writing, and Its Role in Understanding Space" ''AA Files'' No. 40 (Winter 1999), pp. 56–64 London: Architectural Association School of Architecture.

Fontana-Giusti, Gordana. "Walling and the city: the effects of walls and walling within the city space", ''The Journal of Architecture'' pp 309–45 Volume 16, Issue 3, London & New York: Routledge, 2011.
* * Anthony Grafton, ''Leon Battista Alberti. Master Builder of the Italian Renaissance''. New York 2000 * Mark Jarzombek
“The Structural Problematic of Leon Battista Alberti's De pictura”
Renaissance Studies 4/3 (September 1990): 273–285. * Michel Paoli, Leon Battista Alberti, Torino 2007 * ''Les'' Livres de la famille'' d'Alberti, Sources, sens et influence'', sous la direction de Michel Paoli, avec la collaboration d'Elise Leclerc et Sophie Dutheillet de Lamothe, préface de Françoise Choay, Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2013. * Manfredo Tafuri, ''Interpreting the Renaissance: Princes, Cities, Architects'', trans. Daniel Sherer. New Haven 2006. * Robert Tavernor, On Alberti and the Art of Building. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998. . * Vasari, ''The Lives of the Artists'' Oxford University Press, 1998. * Wright, D.R. Edward
"Alberti's De Pictura: Its Literary Structure and Purpose"
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 47, 1984 (1984), pp. 52–71. LA) Leon Battista Alberti, De re aedificatoria, Argentorati, excudebat M. Iacobus Cammerlander Moguntinus, 1541. * (LA) Leon Battista Alberti, De re aedificatoria, Florentiae, accuratissime impressum opera magistri Nicolai Laurentii Alamani. Leon Battista Alberti, Opere volgari. 1, Firenze, Tipografia Galileiana, 1843. * Leon Battista Alberti, Opere volgari. 2, Firenze, Tipografia Galileiana, 1844. * Leon Battista Alberti, Opere volgari. 4, Firenze, Tipografia Galileiana, 1847. * Leon Battista Alberti, Opere volgari. 5, Firenze, Tipografia Galileiana, 1849. * Leon Battista Alberti, Opere, Florentiae, J. C. Sansoni, 1890. * Leon Battista Alberti, Trattati d'arte, Bari, Laterza, 1973. * Leon Battista Alberti, Ippolito e Leonora, Firenze, Bartolomeo de' Libri, prima del 1495. * Leon Battista Alberti, Ecatonfilea, Stampata in Venesia, per Bernardino da Cremona, 1491. * Leon Battista Alberti, Deifira, Padova, Lorenzo Canozio, 1471. * Leon Battista Alberti, Teogenio, Milano, Leonard Pachel, circa 1492. * Leon Battista Alberti, Libri della famiglia, Bari, G. Laterza, 1960. * Leon Battista Alberti, Rime e trattati morali, Bari, Laterza, 1966. * Albertiana, Rivista della Société Intérnationale Leon Battista Alberti, Firenze, Olschki, 1998 sgg. * Franco Borsi, Leon Battista Alberti: Opera completa, Electa, Milano, 1973; Giovanni Ponte, Leon Battista Alberti: Umanista e scrittore, Tilgher, Genova, 1981; * Paolo Marolda, Crisi e conflitto in Leon Battista Alberti, Bonacci, Roma, 1988; * Roberto Cardini, Mosaici: Il nemico dell'Alberti, Bulzoni, Roma 1990; * Rosario Contarino, Leon Battista Alberti moralista, presentazione di Francesco Tateo, S. Sciascia, Caltanissetta 1991; * Pierluigi Panza, Leon Battista Alberti: Filosofia e teoria dell'arte, introduzione di Dino Formaggio, Guerini, Milano 1994; * Cecil Grayson, Studi su Leon Battista Alberti, a cura di Paola Claut, Olschki, Firenze 1998; * Stefano Borsi, Momus, o Del principe: Leon Battista Alberti, i papi, il giubileo, Polistampa, Firenze 1999; Luca Boschetto, Leon Battista Alberti e Firenze: Biografia, storia, letteratura, Olschki, Firenze 2000; * Alberto G. Cassani, La fatica del costruire: Tempo e materia nel pensiero di Leon Battista Alberti, Unicopli, Milano 2000; * Elisabetta Di Stefano, L'altro sapere: Bello, arte, immagine in Leon Battista Alberti, Centro internazionale studi di estetica, Palermo 2000; * Rinaldo Rinaldi, Melancholia Christiana. Studi sulle fonti di Leon Battista Alberti, Firenze, Olschki, 2002; * Francesco Furlan, Studia albertiana: Lectures et lecteurs de L.B. Alberti, N. Aragno-J. Vrin, Torino-Parigi 2003; * Anthony Grafton, Leon Battista Alberti: Un genio universale, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2003; D. Mazzini, S. Martini. Villa Medici a Fiesole. Leon Battista Alberti e il prototipo di villa rinascimentale, Centro Di, Firenze 2004; * Michel Paoli, Leon Battista Alberti 1404–1472, Parigi, Editions de l'Imprimeur, 2004, , ora tradotto in italiano: Michel Paoli, Leon Battista Alberti, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 2007, 124 p. + 40 ill., . * Anna Siekiera, Bibliografia linguistica albertiana, Firenze, Edizioni Polistampa, 2004 (Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Leon Battista Alberti, Serie «Strumenti», 2); * Francesco P. Fiore: La Roma di Leon Battista Alberti. Umanisti, architetti e artisti alla scoperta dell'antico nella città del Quattrocento, Skira, Milano 2005, ; Leon Battista Alberti architetto, a cura di Giorgio Grassi e Luciano Patetta, testi di Giorgio Grassi et alii, Banca CR, Firenze 2005; * Restaurare Leon Battista Alberti: il caso di Palazzo Rucellai, a cura di Simonetta Bracciali, presentazione di Antonio Paolucci, Libreria Editrice Fiorentina, Firenze 2006, ; * Stefano Borsi, Leon Battista Alberti e Napoli, Polistampa, Firenze 2006; * Gabriele Morolli, Leon Battista Alberti. Firenze e la Toscana, Maschietto Editore, Firenze, 2006.ù * F. Canali, "Leon Battista Alberti "Camaleonta" e l'idea del Tempio Malatestiano dalla Storiografia al Restauro, in Il Tempio della Meraviglia, a cura di F. Canali, C. Muscolino, Firenze, 2007. * F. Canali, La facciata del Tempio Malatestiano, in Il Tempio della Meraviglia, a cura di F. Canali, C. Muscolino, Firenze, 2007. * V. C. Galati, "Ossa" e "illigamenta" nel De Re aedificatoria. Caratteri costruttivi e ipotesi strutturali nella lettura della tecnologia antiquaria del cantiere del Tempio Malatestiano, in Il Tempio della Meraviglia, a cura di F. Canali, C. Muscolino, Firenze, 2007. * Alberti e la cultura del Quattrocento, Atti del Convegno internazionale di Studi, (Firenze, Palazzo Vecchio, Salone dei Dugento, 16-17-18 dicembre 2004), a cura di R. Cardini e M. Regoliosi, Firenze, Edizioni Polistampa, 2007. * AA.VV, Brunelleschi, Alberti e oltre, a cura di F. Canali, «Bollettino della Società di Studi Fiorentini», 16–17, 2008. * F. Canali, R Tracce albertiane nella Romagna umanistica tra Rimini e Faenza, in Brunelleschi, Alberti e oltre, a cura di F. Canali, «Bollettino della Società di Studi Fiorentini», 16–17, 2008. * V. C. Galati, Riflessioni sulla Reggia di Castelnuovo a Napoli: morfologie architettoniche e tecniche costruttive. Un univoco cantiere antiquario tra Donatello e Leon Battista Alberti?, in Brunelleschi, Alberti e oltre, a cura di F. Canali, «Bollettino della Società di Studi Fiorentini», 16–17, 2008. * F. Canali, V. C. Galati, Leon Battista Alberti, gli 'Albertiani' e la Puglia umanistica, in Brunelleschi, Alberti e oltre, a cura di F. Canali, «Bollettino della Società di Studi Fiorentini», 16–17, 2008. * G. Morolli, Alberti: la triiplice luce della pulcritudo, in Brunelleschi, Alberti e oltre, a cura di F. Canali, «Bollettino della Società di Studi Fiorentini», 16–17, 2008. * G. Morolli, Pienza e Alberti, in Brunelleschi, Alberti e oltre, a cura di F. Canali, «Bollettino della Società di Studi Fiorentini», 16–17, 2008. * Christoph Luitpold Frommel, Alberti e la porta trionfale di Castel Nuovo a Napoli, in «Annali di architettura» n° 20, Vicenza 2008 leggere l'articolo; Massimo Bulgarelli, Leon Battista Alberti, 1404-1472: Architettura e storia, Electa, Milano 2008; * Caterina Marrone, I segni dell'inganno. Semiotica della crittografia, Stampa Alternativa&Graffiti, Viterbo 2010; * S. Borsi, Leon Battista Alberti e Napoli, Firenze, 2011. * V. Galati, Il Torrione quattrocentesco di Bitonto dalla committenza di Giovanni Ventimiglia e Marino Curiale; dagli adeguamenti ai dettami del De Re aedificatoria di Leon Battista Alberti alle proposte di Francesco di Giorgio Martini (1450-1495), in Defensive Architecture of the Mediterranean XV to XVIII centuries, a cura di G. Verdiani, Firenze, 2016, vol.III. * V. Galati, Tipologie di Saloni per le udienze nel Quattrocento tra Ferrara e Mantova. Oeci, Basiliche, Curie e "Logge all'antica" tra Vitruvio e Leon Battista Alberti nel "Salone dei Mesi di Schifanoia a Ferrara e nella "Camera Picta" di Palazzo Ducale a Mantova, in Per amor di Classicismo, a cura di F. Canali «Bollettino della Società di Studi Fiorentini», 24–25, 2016. * S. Borsi, Leon Battista, Firenze, 2018.


External links


Albertian Bibliography on line

MS Typ 422.2. Alberti, Leon Battista, 1404–1472. Ex ludis rerum mathematicarum : manuscript, [14--].
Houghton Library, Harvard University.


"Learning from the City-States? Leon Battista Alberti and the London Riots"
Caspar Pearson,
Berfrois
', September 26, 2011 * Online resources for Alberti's buildings ** Alberti Photogrammetric Drawing

*
S. Andrea, Mantua, Italy
*

* Alberti's works online *

original Latin and Italian texts
English translation
*

on audio MP3 *

(printed in Rome in 1520), full digital facsimile, CAMENA Project *
''The Architecture of Leon Battista Alberti in Ten Books''
(printed in London in 1755), full digital facsimile, Linda Hall Library *
Works of Alberti
book facsimiles via archive.org {{DEFAULTSORT:Alberti, Leone Battista Leon Battista Alberti 1404 births 1472 deaths 15th-century Genoese people 15th-century Italian Roman Catholic priests 15th-century Latin writers 15th-century philosophers 15th-century Italian architects 15th-century Italian painters 15th-century Italian poets 15th-century Italian sculptors 15th-century Italian mathematicians Italian Renaissance architects Italian Renaissance humanists Italian Renaissance painters Italian Renaissance writers Architectural theoreticians Italian architecture writers Italian medallists Italian philosophers Italian male painters Italian male poets Italian male sculptors Linguists from Italy Catholic philosophers Artist authors Pre-19th-century cryptographers 15th-century antiquarians