On Alberti and the Art of Building

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Yale University Press, 1998 - Architecture - 278 pages
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Recognized in his own time for extraordinary architectural achievements, Leon Battista Alberti (1404 - 1472) five hundred years after his death continues to influence the practice and theory of architecture. This book is the first full-scale study of Alberti’s life and architecture in more than a quarter century. Robert Tavernor provides a biographical account of the Italian architect and a detailed consideration of each of the building projects with which he was involved. With new reconstructions of Alberti’s buildings and new interpretations of his design intentions, this book will fascinate every reader with an interest in Renaissance architecture. From Alberti’s supreme knowledge of the thought and buildings of antiquity, he developed a set of writings on science and the visual arts, including his important treatise on architecture, De re aedificatoria. In this volume, Tavernor examines Alberti’s architectural writings and his practical example, his relations with his patrons, how he extended his theory into practice through major building projects across Italy, and how he succeeded in raising the status of architecture to an art - one that sought harmony with the natural world. Focusing on the analysis of Alberti’s buildings, the author sets each in historical context; provides a building history; and considers source material, proportional systems, and iconography. He concludes the book with a fresh view of Alberti’s theory and practice and a summary of his design process.
 

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Contents

Preface
ix
ON ALBERTI
xv
Rome Revealed and Represented
13
Architect and Visionary
25
Selfportraiture and Albertis Eye for the Future
31
Beauty in Art and Building
39
Sigismondo Malatesta and the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini
49
Giovanni Rucellai and his Architectural Ensemble in Florence
79
S Ludovico Gonzaga and Alberti in Mantua and Florence
125
Federico da Montefeltro of Urbino and AJbertis Design
189
The Art of Building in Practice
201
Notes
207
Albertis Writings
251
Index
273
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Robert Tavernor is Professor and Head of Architecture at the University of Bath and a practicing architect. His previous books include a translation (with Joseph Rykwert and Neil Leach) of Alberti's "On the Art of Building in Ten Books"; and "Palladio and Palladianism".

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