About this Collection
Leon Battista Alberti was a quintessential Italian Renaissance man. Born in 1404 in Genoa into an exiled Florentine banking family, he received a classical education in Venice and Bologna. He studied Latin, Greek, canon law, mathematics, geometry and physics.
In 1432 Alberti went to Rome to become a secretary in the papal curia; his service to several popes enabled him to travel extensively in Italy and make contact with influential people.
Alberti produced books on a variety of subjects, including family ethics, cartography, cryptography, and aesthetics.
His three most influential works, on painting, sculpture, and architecture, were instrumental in changing the tastes and customs of artists and patrons alike, and set stylistic standards for centuries to come.
Alberti's De re aedificatoria (1450) is his theoretical masterpiece.