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Readings in Italian Mannerism II



Edited By Liana De Girolami Cheney

This collection celebrates the 450th year anniversary of the publication of Giorgio Vasari’s Vite (The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects [Florence: Giunti, 1568]), in which, in the prolegomenon, architects were highly praised along with the principles and technology of architecture. To honor this significant event, the selected articles in this book contain some published excerpts, some revised and expanded, some never published. These articles demonstrate the extraordinary influence of the classical tradition in Renaissance and Mannerist architecture and its role in the education of architectural students. In particular, these essays discuss the materials employed and their functions as well as the architect’s role in society. These articles also address the impact of Mannerist architecture and art theory in sixteenth-century European architecture and culture.

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C. The Architecture …, Book 9, Chapters 9–11 (Leon Battista Alberti)


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Leon Battista Alberti

Editor’s Note

Leon Battista Alberti (1404–72), an Italian genius of the fifteenth century, is referred to as a “Renaissance man.” He was a humanist, an artist, an architect, a sculptor, a poet, and a linguist as well as a cryptographer. His extensive writings on art and art theory, such as Della pittura [On Painting] and De statua [On Sculpture], explain mathematical usages in optics, perspective in these artistic forms as well as observing nature in order to create beauty in art. In his De re aedificatoria [On the Art of Building] he was inspired by Vitruvius’s Ten Books on Architecture. Alberti also wrote on the formation of a good family in Libri della famiglia [Books on the Family]. He was creating a paradigm between the foundations of the family (a social construct) and an individual’s design for an architectural building (a human endeavor).

The selection of Alberti’s Chapters 9–11 from Book 9 of his On the Art of Building specifically address the following issues, with chapters entitled as follows: Chapter 9: The Business and Duty of a good Architect, and wherein the Excellence of the Ornaments consists; Chapter 10: What it is that an Architect ought principal to consider, and what Sciences he ought to be acquainted with; and Chapter 11: To what Sort of Persons the Architect ought to offer his Service. ← 49...

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