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. 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. De re aedificatoria remained the classic treatise on architecture from the 16th until the 18th century. Book Nine[ edit ] In Book Nine, Alberti presents his comments about aesthetic theory and beauty which Borsi summarizes on page of his Alberti book stating: "In short, what are the elements that constitute beauty?

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Leon Battista Alberti was one of the greatest contributors to Renaissance ideas on architecture. The Italian Renaissance Different societies end up defining themselves and their ideal citizens in different ways.

For some parts of urban America, social values are defined by irony and the ideal citizen is the hipster. During this period, known as the Italian Renaissance of the late 14th through late 16th centuries, society was defined by an obsession with the arts, philosophy, literature, and the achievement of perfection. The ideal citizen, the one who mastered the arts, sciences, philosophy, statesmanship, and courtly behaviors was called the universal man, or Renaissance man.

It was a slightly harder title to earn than the hipster, requiring a great deal of education. Of course, this ideal citizen was based on precedent as well. So, who was the first Renaissance man? One possible candidate is Leon Battista Alberti, a man who defined the Renaissance more than nearly any other. In the early 15th century, Florence was the epicenter of the growing Renaissance and Alberti played an important role in the movement.

He was well-educated in the arts, philosophies, sciences and law, earning his doctorate in law from the University of Bologna by age Later, he also later became a noted theoretician. He set precedents that would be followed for the next two centuries. Alberti worked at the beginning of the Renaissance, drawing his inspiration from the ancient Romans, and fellow architect Filippo Brunelleschi, who he greatly admired.

While Alberti did try painting and sculpture, he found that his true gift was in developing theories about art and architecture. Three major treatises by Alberti helped define the Renaissance in this regard. De Statua was his work on sculpture, in which he outlines proportional theory and details the temperament necessary of a sculptor. Della Pittura was the first major treatise on painting in the Renaissance, laying down his theory on linear perspective and, again, the behaviors that artists must emulate.

Around , he completed his last major treatise, one on architecture called De re Aedificatoria. He lived in a very urban society, and grew to believe that the city was a necessary component of civilization. For this reason, he argued architecture was among the most notable of art forms. His focus on ancient Greece and Rome led him to study the Classical architectural orders. So, what exactly was in De re Aedificatoria? He explores this through three focuses, based closely on the three fundamentals of building outlined by Vitruvius, called the Vitruvian Triad.

First is the stability and usefulness of a structure. Next are the aesthetic elements of lines, angles, and proportions. Finally are the elements of beauty and ornamentation. The works of Alberti outlined the practical and philosophical elements of architecture Therefore, building and by extension city-planning required a philosophical mind as well as scientific precision. His work outlined the theories that should guide architects, and set practical and pragmatic standards for creating mathematically harmonious structures.

Like the ancient Greeks and Romans, he believed that perfect harmony could be mathematically deduced, and represented in the proportions of architectural elements in a structure.


Ten Books on Architecture



Leonis Baptiste Alberti de re aedificatoria


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