Alberti, Leon Battista (1406-1472)

"Alberti, Leon Battista (1406-1472)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 11th January 2012

Leon Battista Alberti, Italian architect, art theorist and writer, was born in Genoa in 1406 and died in Rome in 1472. He began his artistic studies in Padua and Bolonia, but the most important period of formation passed in Rome, where he in 1432 started to work in the office of an apostolic abbreviator. He studied deeply the classic architecture, its design, proportions, decorations and projecting. Having met in 1434 Brunelleschi, Donatello, Mosaccio in Florence, L.B.Alberti wrote treatise "Della pittura" (1435), in which he collected and analyzed perspective inventions in architecture by Brunelleschi, and theorized the Florentine art of the beginning of 15th century.

Portrait of L.B.Alberti from a medal of the XV cent
Fig: Portrait of L.B.Alberti from
a medal of the XV cent.

In Florence Alberti left important works, most of which were sponsored by the family of Rucellai. (See below on the right Palazzo Rucellai (1447-1451), which style was used for the following constructions of nobility in Florence; see below on the left: Il Tempietto del San Sepolcro in Cappella Rucellai, in the church of San Pancrazio (Florence)).

alberti-tempietto alberti-tempio alberti-facciata alberti-chiesa
Fig (from left):
alberti-tempietto
alberti-tempio
alberti-facciata
alberti-chiesa

In Rimini he created Tempio Malatestiano (1450) (see on the right) which gave an impulse to the humanistic reflection of the conception of the church as a temple. Since 1459 Alberti worked in Mantova: the churches of San Sebastiano (1460) (see on the left) and Sant'Andrea (1470).

Alberti with his multi-formed activity embodied the symbol of ideal man-artist of Renaissance. Through his theoretic works he tried to give a basement for the future artists and architects, which could be considered also as the promotion of arts (painting, sculpture, architecture) and of literature and philosophy.

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