An innovative approach to the analysis of the work of Leon Battista Alberti, teaching us how to deal with architecture.
This book aims to investigate the use that Leon Battista Alberti made of architectonic forms and models. Its first part is dedicated to a close analysis of some of his most famous buildings, Palazzo Rucellai and Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Sant’Andrea in Mantua, starting from the complex concept of beauty and ornament as it is expressed in De re aedificatoria, his treatise on architecture. The second section examines the way in which Alberti used the antique and medieval models he derived from the past – as a matter of fact he was a humanist as well as a great architect – and how he confronted them with the places and the purchasers of his age. Leon Battista Alberti is one of the most relevant figures of the entire history of western architecture. He was born in 1404 in Genoa from a patrician family of Florentine exiles and was educated in Padua and Bologna. At the beginning of the Thirties he entered the Papal Court, and after a short period in Florence, he moved to Rome. Until the Forties he dedicated himself to humanistic studies and wrote many books. Then he switched to history of art and began to study ancient architecture. He wrote the De re aedificatoria and planned few buildings, the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini, Palazzo Rucellai in Florence and Sant’Andrea in Mantua, his posthumous masterpiece. He died in 1472.