Leon Battista Alberti by Anthony Grafton
Leon Battista Alberti (1404-72) was one of the most original, creative and exciting figures of the Italian Renaissance. He wrote the first modern treatise on painting, the first modern manual of classical architecture and a powerful set of "dialogues" about the patrician families that dominated his home city of Florence. Alberti rediscovered the forgotten aesthetics of classical architecture and described, in incomparably vivid terms, the artistic revolution in Florence that began what we now call the Renaissance. He made, too, spectacular advances in the art of painting and in engineering, and as an architect he was responsible for some of the most original and influential buildings in Italy. Here, Anthony Grafton, one of the greatest living Renaissance scholars, offers the general book that Alberti has to long deserved. The result is a compelling portrait of a mysterious, original and highly unusual intellectual and a colourful tableau of the cities and courts in which he lived.