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Achillini, Alessandro

Agricola, Georgius

Alberti, Leone Battista



Babington, John

Baif, Lazare de

Baldi, Bernardino

Baliani, Giovanni Battista

Barocius, Franciscus

Benedetti, Giovanni Battista

Berga, Antonio

Biancani, Giuseppe

Borelli, Giovanni Alfonso

Borro, Girolamo

Boyle, Robert

Branca, Giovanni

Buonamici, Francesco

Buteo, Johannes

Cardano, Girolamo

Casati, Paolo

Castelli, Benedetto

Cataneo, Girolamo

Ceredi, Giuseppe

Ceva, Giovanni

Cicero, M. Tullius

Commandino, Federico

Delfino, Federico

Descartes, Rene



Fabri, Honore

Foscarini, Paolo Antonio

Galilei, Galileo

Gassendi, Pierre

Ghetaldi, Marino

Giphanius, Hubert

Guevara, Giovanni di

Heron Alexandrinus

Heytesbury, William

Hutton, Charles

Jordanus de Nemore

Landi, Bassiano

Lorini, Buonaiuto


Manuzio, Paolo

Marci of Kronland, Johannes Marcus

Mellini, Domenico

Mersenne, Marin

Monantheuil, Henri de

Monte, Guidobaldo del

Morelli, Gregorio

Newton, Isaac

Pacioli, Luca

Pappus Alexandrinus

Salusbury, Thomas

Santbech, Daniel

Schott, Gaspar

Schreck, Johann Terrenz

Stelliola, Niccolò Antonio

Stevin, Simon

Tartaglia, Niccolò

Thomaz, Alvaro


Torricelli, Evangelista

Valerio, Luca

Varro, Michel

Vitruvius Pollio

Wolff, Christian von

Alberti, Leon Battista

born on 14.2.1404 in Genoa, died on 25.4.1472 in Rome, Italian humanist, artist and scholar

Alberti was the illegitimate son of a Florentine merchant who had been banned from Florence, and grew up in Genoa and Venice. From 1416 he was a pupil of Latin and Greek at the Humanist School of Gasparino Barzizza in Padua, where he dedicated himself intensively to physics, mathematics, geometry, rhetoric and ancient literature. He concluded his studies of canonical law at the University of Bologna in 1428 and moved to Rome in 1432, where he first served as the secretary to Cardinal Biagio Molin and later as abbreviator (secretary) to the papal Curia. In 1434 he followed Pope Eugene IV to Florence, where he made the acquaintance of a number of leading artists and humanists of the early Renaissance. As part of the pope’s retinue, he traveled to Bologna in 1436 and spent 1438/39 in Ferrara. In Florence in 1441 he sponsored a competition for poetry composed in Tuscan dialect, in which for the first time Italian poetry attempted to imitate ancient meters. This competition proved to be a major contribution to the improvement of the image of his native language, which was held in low regard by humanists. Because of his far-reaching education, Alberti’s contemporaries called him a “uomo universale.” He was also one of the best organists of his day. His Latin comedy Philodoxios was initially believed to be a work of antiquity. In the art of painting, his attempts to give scientific grounds for perspectivistic depictions are of great importance. Several editions were published of his work on the subject, “De pictura” (Basel 1540). As an architect he is distinguished from his contemporaries primarily through his deep understanding of the Vitruvian style which experienced a revival at that time, and through his adherence to the laws of the Roman style, as evinced in his main work on architectural theory, De re aedificatoria (Florence 1485; Italian, Venice 1546). The pioneering classicism of his architectural designs rests on his thorough study of ancient architecture. With his main architectural works (such as the San Francesco church in Rimini, the façade of Santa Maria Novella and the Palazzo Rucellae in Florence), he attempted to reinvigorate the Classicist style. He was the first great amateur architect. He restricted himself to designing and left the practical execution of his buildings to others.
In his moral-pedagogical tract Del governo della famiglia (1437 – 1441, published under the title De amicitia around 1440/41), he championed the thought of the dignity of the human individual. This stylistically superior tract is also a milestone in the development of Italian prose and contributed much to the establishment of his native Italian tongue.
Alberti was involved in the planning activities of Pope Nicholas V, who initiated the reconstruction of St. Peter’s in Rome and pioneered new techniques in urban planning. He provided important designs to Pope Pious II for the extension of Pienza.

Digital texts (2 texts)



De re aedificatoria