Building outside time in Alberti’s De re aedificatoria. MARVIN TRACHTENBERG. For all of the vast knowledge of ancient and contemporary sources, monuments. Title: Alberti, Leon Battista, De re aedificatoria. Manuscript (Ms 1). Dates: circa Manuscript Number: Codex Ms 1. Size: 1 volume; 30 x 21 cm. Repository. Leon Battista Alberti wrote De re aedificatoria in the middle of the 15th century. The terminus post quem for the beginning of the writing is traditionally set in .

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Alberti deals with architecture as an overall human science, which, tending to man as a separate individual as well as a member of the community, takes care to consciously fit him into an area in order to contribute to his happiness.

The humanist demands that the architect have two capabilities: This was his De re aedificatoria Ten Books on Architecturenot a restored text of Vitruvius but a wholly new work, that won him his reputation as the “Florentine Vitruvius.

Orlandi, “Le prime fasi nella diffusione del trattato architettonico albertiano”, Aesificatoria. It is impossible to deal with all the subjects and arguments developed in the ten books of the De re aedificatoria since they are so varied and historically important.

Consult in image mode.

Ten Books on Architecture

The hypothesis according to which Poliziano took charge of collating the diverse manuscripts and correcting the proofs has not been proved. This work has been rebound and binding fragments retained.

The University of Chicago Library, in its capacity as owner of the physical property represented by the digital images linked to this finding aid, encourages the use of these materials for educational and scholarly purposes.

The texts of the ten books were divided into chapters for the first time. In addition, Alberti takes advantage of a very rich personal experience, a direct knowledge not only of the ruins of antiquity but also of contemporary architecture and of techniques of masonry and construction.

In his survey of desirable floor plans for sacred buildings— “temples” in his phrase—Alberti begins with the ideal form of the circle, which is expressed in numerous examples of Nature. Alberti’s earliest effort at reviving classical forms of building still stands in Ferrara, a miniature triumphal arch that supports an equestrian statue of Leonello’s father. By using new mathematical techniques and relationships found in musical harmony, Alberti achieved a balanced proportion which was emulated throughout the Renaissance.

The concept of disegnounderstood as an intellectual instrument for the projectualisation of architecture, represents one of the main theoretical innovations of the De re aedificatoria. Choay, Paris, Seuil, The architect is the guardian of profound knowledge and his work is the product of an intellect related to nature by means of materials, with the history of an area through the choice of the places and environments in which one must build and on account of the constructive typology with the social organization.


It was followed in with the first printed edition of Vitruvius. On Leon Battista Alberti’s De re aedificatoria.

A clear synthesis of so many skills is to be found in De re aedificatoriaaeidficatoria work which became the basic text of Renaissance architecture. Thus I will limit myself to the question of sources and to a synthetic description of the treatise’s structure and to the general themes characterizing the different parts making up the treatise, as well as a brief development of Alberti’s global conception of architecture. At alnerti Este court in Ferrara, where Alberti was first made a welcome guest inthe Marchese Leonello encouraged and commissioned him to direct his talents toward another field of endeavour: Peter’s and the Vatican Palace.

Ten Books on Architecture | work by Alberti |

The images presented here may include materials reflecting the attitudes, language, and stereotypes of an earlier time period. Fiaschi, “Una copia di tipografia finora sconosciuta: During his stay in the Eternal City he apparently favored the study of architecture and Latin prose over that of the common language and figurative arts. Adolfo Turapp. With customary thoroughness, Alberti embarked upon a study of the architectural and engineering practices of antiquity that he continued when rd returned to Rome in with the papal court.

In his discussion, Alberti includes a wide variety of literary sources, including Plato and Aristotlepresenting a concise version of the sociology of architecture. Huic mentem cogitationemque, huic alteri parationem selectionemque adhibendam” Orlandi-Portoghesi, p. Chapels add small geometric figures to the basic circles and polygons to give a great variety of floor plans, in which each geometrical figure retains its clear unity and simple ratios that bind all elements of the plans and elevations into a harmonic unity.

Quorum alterum istic ab ingenio produceretur, alterum a natura susciteretur. The idea according that architecture would have a “competence regarding form”, conceived by means of lineamentain aevificatoria words points, lines and surfaces, would be put into theory and operation in the institution of the Accademie aedificatoriia Disegnofirst in Florence and immediately after in Rome, with major consequences not only for albetti, but also for all artists and for the history alnerti art in general.


But if on the other hand art albeerti nature, aedkficatoria it is the part of the same discipline to know the form and the matter up to a point e. Salvi, “Edizioni, versioni e illustrazioni del De re Aedificatoria. Tura, “Saggio su alcuni selezionati problemi di bibliografia fiorentina”, A. Any reproduction or publication from these digital images requires that the following credit line be included: Large blue Roman initials were intended to mark the beginning of each section, but after the Introduction and Book I, the initials have not been painted in.

Nine ideal centrally-planned geometrical shapes are recommended for churches; besides the circle he lists the square, the hexagon, octagon, decagon and dodecagon, all derived from the circle, and, derived from the square, rectangles that exhibit the square and a half, square and a third and double square, all of which have enharmonic parallels in music. The Chicago manuscript, which originated in Sicilian Italy during the last quarter of the fifteenth century, was probably produced by a large scriptorium, since as many as ten scribes collaborated on it.

De re aedificatoria provided the Renaissance with an organized program for architectural design. That is why the using art also is in a sense directive; but it differs in that it knows the form, whereas the art which is directive as being concerned with production knows the matter” Eng. Ancient Polykleitos Canon Vitruvius De architectura. Let us recall simply aedificatorix Alberti gives proof several times that he knows and appreciates the antique treatise- the only explicit criticism, at the beginning of Book VI, concerns Vitruvius’ language and terminology.

Hardie-Gaye II, 2, Architecture was born at the same time aecificatoria man, developed in parallel fashion to the human society that it continues to organize, protect and structure.


Here Alberti makes the distinction between competence regarding form and competence regarding matter, which covers that distinguishing the architect from the carpenter- and in this passage, one will also have noticed the reference to Cicero’s Brutus 73,a well-known text by the humanist abbreviator of the Roman curia. Leon Battista Alberti was the prototype of the Renaissance “universal man,” combining the vocations of humanist, athlete, engineer, architect, courtier, musician, and er.

By the time Nicholas V became pope inAlberti was knowledgeable enough to become the Pope’s architectural adviser.