Presunto autoritratto su placchetta, Parigi , Cabinet des Medailles. De pictura[ modifica modifica wikitesto ] Lo stesso argomento in dettaglio: De pictura. I suoi interessi archeologici lo portarono anche a tentare il recupero delle navi romane affondate nel lago di Nemi. Il De re aedificatoria[ modifica modifica wikitesto ] Frontespizio Lo stesso argomento in dettaglio: De re aedificatoria. Il trattato fu concepito sul modello del De architectura di Vitruvio. Facciata di palazzo Rucellai.
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Early life[ edit ] Leon Battista Alberti was born in in Genoa. His mother is not known, and his father was a wealthy Florentine who had been exiled from his own city, allowed to return in Alberti was sent to boarding school in Padua, then studied Law at Bologna. In this work he analyses the nature of painting and explores the elements of perspective, composition and colour.
This was followed in by a commission from Sigismondo Malatesta to transform the Gothic church of San Francesco in Rimini into a memorial chapel, the Tempio Malatestiano. The work was not published until It was followed in by his less influential work, De statua, in which he examines sculpture.
He was a humanist who followed Aristotle and Plotinus , and part of the rapidly expanding entourage of intellectuals and artisans supported by the courts of the princes and lords of the time. Alberti, as a member of noble family and as part of the Roman curia , had special status. He was a welcomed guest at the Este court in Ferrara , and in Urbino he spent part of the hot-weather season with the soldier-prince Federico III da Montefeltro.
The Duke of Urbino was a shrewd military commander, who generously spent money on the patronage of art. Alberti planned to dedicate his treatise on architecture to his friend. With the Florentine cosmographer Paolo Toscanelli he collaborated in astronomy, a close science to geography at that time, and 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 rule. Alberti, having taken holy orders, remained unmarried all his life.
He loved animals and had a pet dog, a mongrel, for whom he wrote a panegyric , Canis. He always lived honourably and like the gentleman he was. Further information: Mathematics and architecture Alberti regarded mathematics as a starting point for the discussion of art and the sciences.
Alberti was well-versed in the sciences of his age. His knowledge of optics was connected to the handed-down long-standing tradition of the Kitab al-manazir The Optics; De aspectibus of the Arab polymath Alhazen Ibn al-Haytham , d. The book is bilingual, with the Italian version being printed on the left and the English version printed on the right.
In both Della pittura and De statua, Alberti stressed that "all steps of learning should be sought from 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.
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. In Rome, Alberti had plenty of time to study its ancient sites, ruins, and objects. His detailed observations, included in his De re aedificatoria , On the Art of Building ,  were patterned after the De architectura by the Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius fl.
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 , after which it became a major reference for architects. Pope 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 Like Erasmus decades later, Alberti stressed the need for a reform in education. Alberti borrowed many of its characters from Lucian , 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 , the god of mockery, is eventually castrated. Jupiter and the other gods come down to earth also, but they return to heaven after Jupiter breaks his nose in a great storm. 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 , unlike his contemporary, Brunelleschi , who utilised the Classical column and pilaster in a free interpretation.
Alberti anticipated the principle of street hierarchy, with wide main streets connected to secondary streets, and buildings of equal height. Some studies  propose that the Villa Medici in Fiesole might owe its design to Alberti, not to Michelozzo, and that it then became the prototype of the Renaissance villa. 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 15th century onwards find inspiration and creative innovation here.
The facade, with its dynamic play of forms, was left incomplete. 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. It was a challenging task, as the lower level already had three doorways and six Gothic niches containing tombs and employing the polychrome marble typical of Florentine churches such as San Miniato al Monte and the Baptistery of Florence.
The design also incorporates an ocular window which was already in place. Alberti introduced Classical features around the portico and spread the polychromy over the entire facade in a manner which 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 buildings. The village, previously called Corsignano, was redesigned beginning around 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 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 west side. It has three stories, articulated by pilasters and entablature courses, with a twin-lighted cross window set within each bay. Noteworthy is the internal court of the palazzo. Below this garden is a vaulted stable that had stalls for 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. It was brought to completion and is his most significant work employing the triumphal arch motif, both for its facade and interior, and influencing many works that were to follow.
Unlike Brunelleschi , he had no interest in the construction, leaving the practicalities to builders and the oversight to others. 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 , 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. To the left of his profile is a winged eye. On the reverse side is the question, Quid tum? Violets are black, and hyacinths are black. In his treatise De pictura 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 "On Painting" contained the first scientific study of perspective. An Italian translation of De pictura Della pittura was published in , one year after the original Latin version and addressed Filippo Brunelleschi in the preface.
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 , which by the 16th century had been translated into Italian by Cosimo Bartoli , French, Spanish and English. An English translation was by Giacomo Leoni in the early 18th century. Newer translations are now available.
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 Mantegna , Piero della Francesca and Fra Angelico. 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.
The upper storey of Santa Maria Novella One of the giant scrolls at Santa Maria Novella He has been credited with being the author, or alternatively the designer of the woodcut illustrations, of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili , a strange fantasy novel.
Potiti "Life of St. These and other works were translated and printed in Venice by the humanist Cosimo Bartoli in Alberti was an accomplished cryptographer by the standard of his day, and invented the first polyalphabetic cipher , which is now known as the Alberti cipher , and machine-assisted encryption using his Cipher Disk.
Cryptography historian David Kahn titles him the "Father of Western Cryptography", pointing to three significant advances in the field which can be attributed to Alberti: "the earliest Western exposition of cryptanalysis, the invention of polyalphabetic substitution, and the invention of enciphered code.
The codebreakers: the story of secret writing. New York: MacMillan. According to Alberti himself, in a short autobiography written c. 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. 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 of Florence , and thus — perhaps — had the leisure to devote himself to this art, but this is only speculation.
Vasari also agreed with this. Penguin Classics.
Leon Battista Alberti, born Feb. He belonged to one of the wealthy merchant-banker families of Florence. At the time of his birth, the Alberti were in exile, expelled from Florence by the oligarchical government then dominated by the Albizzi family. Shortly thereafter he moved to Venice, where he raised Battista Leo or Leon was a name adopted in later life and his elder brother, Carlo. An affectionate and responsible father, Lorenzo provided his sons with a Florentine stepmother whom he married in , and he attended carefully to their education.
Leon Battista Alberti
Estatua de Alberti en la Galleria degli Uffizi. En el debate participan varios componentes de la familia Alberti, personajes reales. La actividad como arquitecto[ editar ] Palacio Rucellai , Florencia. Dividiendo en cuatro, dicho cuadrado, se obtienen cuatro cuadrados menores equivalentes a las partes fundamentales de la fachada: dos de ellos comprenden la zona inferior; mientras uno comprende la parte superior. El objetivo es transformar la iglesia de San Francisco en un templo cristiano el llamado Templo Malatestiano a mayor gloria suya y de su familia. En es requerido en Mantua a instancias de Ludovico Gonzaga. El arquitecto es el que la inventa.