154th out of 414 books — 73 voters
Albertis Della Pittura was the first modern analytical study of painting. A systematic description of the one-point perspective construction, it was designed to persuade both patron and painter in the Renaissance to discard the old tastes in painting for the new.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published July 2nd 1991 by Penguin Classics
(first published 1435)
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(showing 1-30 of 604)
Despite being told by Alberti not to bother continuing after the first chapter because I didn't quite grasp his mathematic theories, I finished the book. I even gleaned some information from it, ignoramus that I am. The following two 'books' were much more easy to grasp, being about composition, colour and light. He believed that equipped with his lessons, painters can become masters of thur art. Alberti himself was a true Renaissance man; painter and architect, theorist and essayist, philosophe...more
As a starting point to understanding the technical aspects of paintings, e.g. understanding perspective, this book is excellent, written as it was at the time when some of the great Italian Renaissance masters were alive and working, and others were yet to be born. The book is enhanced by an introduction by the great Martin Kemp (the Leonardo scholar, not the actor and pop singer) and diagrams which illustrate the concepts described in the text.
Oct 02, 2008 Robert rated it 5 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves painting.
The first part of the text is a little overly mathematical, but overall this is a quick and simple read, and it is definitely worth reading. This slim little book played an integral part in the development of Renaissance Art, with its focus on perspective, proportional awareness, study of human physiology, and an attempt to have the motion and bodies of the picture reveal the subtle inner workings of the mind and emotions of those displayed. A defining work of art analysis and criticism.
Written during the Renaissance, Alberti's guide to true painting is wonderful. Arguing that a true artist is very much a technician; they must know arithmetic, literature, and reception of light in order to make an art piece a true work of art. I really enjoyed reading this and I am sure that those infatuated with art and everything to do with it will equally enjoy it.
Feb 25, 2013 Madeline W rated it 4 of 5 stars
Ariosto offers a great point of reference for any interested in art and its practice, showing more similarity to modern eyes in method and aesthetic appreciation than difference. The fact that the work mainly existed in Latin, rather than Italian, makes it even more impressive in clarity and skill!
Leon Battista Alberti was an Italian author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher, cryptographer and general Renaissance humanist polymath. Although he is often characterized as an "architect" exclusively, as James Beck has observed, "to single out one of Leon Battista's 'fields' over others as somehow functionally independent and self-sufficient is of no help at all to any effor...moreMore about Leon Battista Alberti...