Leon Alberti

Picture of Leon Alberti

Date of Birth: 02/18/1404

Age: 68

Place of birth: Genova

Citizenship: Italy


Name Alberti is rightly called one of the first among the great creators of culture of the Italian Renaissance. His theoretical writings, his artistic practice, his ideas and, finally, the humanist his personality played a crucial role in the development of early Renaissance art.

"It was supposed to appear a man - wrote Leonardo Olshki - who, having theory and having a vocation to the art and practice, would put the aspirations of their time on a sound basis and would give them a certain direction in which they were to develop in the future this multilateral,. but at the same time harmonic mind was Leon Battista Alberti. "

Leon Battista Alberti was born February 18, 1404 in Genoa. His father - Leonardo Alberti, who was the illegitimate son of Leon, belonged to one of the most influential merchant families of Florence, exiled from his native city of political opponents.

Initial education Leon Battista was in Padua, in the famous humanist school-teacher Gasparini Bartsitstsa yes, and after his father`s death in 1421 went to Bologna, where he studied at the University of Canon Law, and attended lectures by Francesco Filelfo Greek language and literature. After graduation in 1428 he was awarded the title of Doctor of Canon Law.

While in Bologna Alberti was in a brilliant circle of writers who gathered in the house of Cardinal Albergati, the university years were for him heavy and out of luck: the death of his father abruptly undermined its material prosperity, a lawsuit with the relatives of the inheritance illegally they rejected by, depriving him of rest, too busy, he damaged his health.

Since the beginning of the student years due hobbies Alberti mathematics and philosophy. In the early works of Alberti ( "Filodoksus", "On the advantages and disadvantages of science", "Table Talk") Bologna period felt uneasiness and anxiety, the consciousness of the inevitability of blind fate. Contact with the Florentine culture, then allowed to return to their homeland, contributed to the eradication of these sentiments.

During a trip to the retinue of Cardinal Albergati in France, the Netherlands and Germany in 1431 Alberti got a lot of architectural experience. Subsequent years and then stay in Rome (1432-1434) marked the beginning of his long Studi ancient architectural monuments. At the same time, Alberti began to study the theory of cartography and painting, while working on the essay "On the family", devoted to issues of morality.

In 1432 under the patronage of influential patrons of the higher clergy Alberti was promoted in the Papal Chancery, where he served for more than thirty years.

Diligence Alberti was truly immeasurable. He believed that man, like the sea the ship should pass huge space and "strive hard to earn the praise and glory of the fruit." As a writer, it is equally interested in and the foundations of society and family life, and the problems of the human person, and ethics. He worked not only literature, but also science, painting, sculpture and music.

His "Mathematical games" as the treatise "On Painting", "On the statue," evidence of thorough knowledge of author in the field of mathematics, optics and mechanics. It monitors the humidity, causing born hygrometer.

I think on the creation of the geodesic instrument for measuring the height of buildings and the depth of the river and to facilitate the leveling of cities. Alberti`s designs lifting gear to extract from the bottom of the lake of sunken Roman ships. From his attention did not escape, and such minor things as cultivation of valuable breeds of horses, the secrets of a female toilet, encrypted code shares, the form of writing letters.

The diversity of his interests so impressed his contemporaries, one of them wrote in the margin of the manuscript albertievskoy: "Tell me, what did not know this person?" And Poliziano, referring Alberti, chose "to remain silent rather than say too little about it."

If you try to give a general description of all works of Alberti, the most obvious is the desire to innovate, organically combined with thoughtful insight into ancient thought.

In 1434-1445 years in the retinue of Pope Eugene IV Alberti visited in Florence, Ferrara, Bologna. During a long stay in Florence, he struck up a friendship with the founders of Renaissance art - Brunelleschi, Donatello, Ghiberti. Here he his treatises on sculpture and painting were written, as well as its best humanistic writings in Italian - "The Family", "The peace of mind", which made him a recognized theoretician and leading figure of the new art movement.

Multiple trips to the cities of northern Italy also contributed to the awakening of his lively interest in various artistic activities. Back in Rome, Alberti with new energy resumed his Studi ancient architecture and in 1444 began compiling the treatise "Ten books about architecture".

By 1450 treatise rough was completed and two years later in a straightening of the editorial board - the one that is known today - was given to the reading of Pope Nicholas V. Alberti, absorbed in their future projects and buildings, he left his work is not quite finished and more to it did not return.

The first architectural experiments Alberti usually associated with its double stay in Ferrara in 1438 and 1443, respectively. Being on friendly terms with Lionello d `Este, who became in 1441 the Marquis of Ferrara, Alberti advised the construction of the equestrian statue of his father, Niccolo III.

After the death of Brunelleschi in 1446 in Florence, among his followers, not a single architect, his equal in importance. Thus, at the turn of the century Alberti appeared as the lead architect of the era. Only now he was the real opportunity to realize his architectural theory into practice.

All the buildings in Florence Alberti marked a notable feature. The principles of the classical orders, learned master of ancient Roman architecture, applied them with great tact to the traditions of Tuscan architecture. New and old, form a living unity, gives these unique buildings "Florentine" style, very different from the one in which it was carried out installations in Northern Italy.

The first work of Alberti in his hometown was the palace for Giovanni Rucellai project, the construction of which led between 1446 and 1451 years, Bernardo Rossellini. Palazzo Rucellai is very different from all the city`s buildings. In the traditional scheme of a three-storey facade Alberti like "impose" net classical orders.

Instead of a massive wall formed rusticated masonry stone blocks, powerful relief that smoothed out gradually as one moves up in front of us is smooth plane, rhythmically dissected by pilasters and entablature ribbons, clearly stated in its proportions and ends dramatically rendered cornice.

Small square windows of the first floor, lifted high off the ground, columns, window separating the two upper floors, fractional running modillions cornice extremely enrich the overall rhythm of the facade. The architecture of the town house disappear traces of its former isolation and the "land" character that was characteristic of all the other palaces of Florence at the time. It is no accident Filaret, mentioning in his treatise building Alberti, he noted that it "... the entire facade is made in antique style."

The second most important building in Florence Alberti was also associated with the order Rucellai. One of the richest men in the city, he was, according to Vasari, "wanted to do at his own expense and entirely of marble facade of the church of the Church of Santa Maria Novella", entrusting its design Alberti. Work on the facade of the church, which began in the XIV century, it has not been completed. Alberti had to continue begun Gothic masters.

This made it difficult his task, for without ruining made, he was forced to include in its draft elements of the old decorations - narrow side doors with lancet tambourines, arches exterior niches, a breakdown of the lower part of the facade of the fine of Liesen with arcature in protorenessansnom style large round window in top part. Its facade, the construction of which was carried out between 1456 and 1470 years of master Giovanni da Bertino, was a kind of paraphrase of the classical samples protorenessansnogo style.

At the request of his patron Alberti and other work performed. In the church of San Pancrazio, adjacent to the rear side of the Palazzo Rucellai, in 1467 the project wizard has been built family chapel. Decorated with pilasters and geometric inlaid with various outlets on the image, it is stylistically close to the previous construction.

Despite the fact that construction started in Florence Alberti project, closely related in style to the traditions of Florentine architecture, they have only an indirect influence on its development in the second half of the XV century. A different way of developing creativity Alberti in Northern Italy. Although it was built there were created simultaneously with the Florentine, they describe a significantly more mature and more classic stage in his work. They Alberti freely and boldly tried to implement its program of "revival" of ancient Roman architecture.

The first such attempt was linked to the restructuring of the church of San Francesco in Rimini. Tirana Rimini, famous Sigismondo Malatesta had the idea to make this ancient church familial temple-mausoleum. By the end of 1440-ies the church was completed in the memorial chapel of Sigismondo and his wife Isotta. Apparently, at the same time to work he was recruited Alberti. Around 1450 he designed a wooden model was carried out, and in the future it is very closely watched from Rome over the course of construction, which was conducted by the local master - miniaturist and medalist Matgeo de `Pasti.

Judging by the medal by Matteo de `Pasti, dated to the anniversary 1450 year, which depicted a new temple, Alberti project proposed a radical restructuring of the church. The first planned on three sides to make new facades, and then build a new vault and the choir, covered with a large dome.

Alberti has at its disposal a very ordinary provincial church - a squat, with lancet windows and wide pointed arches of chapels with simple rafter roof over the main nave. He planned to turn it into a grand memorial temple that can compete with the ancient sanctuaries.

The monumental facade in the form of bunk triumphal arch had very little to do with the familiar face of Italian churches. The spacious domed rotunda, the visitor opens in the depths of the vaulted hall, evocative of the buildings of ancient Rome.

Unfortunately, Albert`s plan was implemented only in part. Construction was delayed. The main facade of the temple was left unfinished, but the fact that it has been done, it is not exactly in line with the original project

Simultaneously with the construction of "Malatesta Temple" in Rimini project Alberti erected a church in Mantua. The Marquis of Mantua, Ludovico Gonzaga, patron of humanists and artists. When in 1459 Alberti appeared at Mantua in the retinue of Pope Pius II, he met at Gonzaga, a very warm welcome and maintain friendly relations with him until his death.

Then Gonzaga commissioned Alberti to draft San Sebastiano church. Ostavshisv Mantua after the departure of the Pope, Alberti in 1460 finished model of the new church, the construction of which was entrusted to the Florentine architect Luca Fancelli, who was in Mantua yard. At least twice, in 1463 and 1470 respectively, Alberti came to Mantua, to monitor the progress of the work, corresponded on the subject with the Marquis and Fancelli:

The new church was Alberti centric building. Cruciform in plan, it was supposed to overlap a large dome. Three short protruding rostrum ended in semicircular apses. And with storonychetvertoy the church adjoined a two-storey bunk-tex lobby, forming a facade facing the street.

Where narthex its rear wall was connected with a narrow entrance platform, on either side of her, filling the space, we were to rise two towers, bell tower. The building is raised high above the ground. It is built on the ground floor, which was a vast crypt under the whole temple with its own entrance to it.

Facade of San Sebastiano Alberti was conceived as an exact likeness of the main portico of an ancient Roman temple-periptera. The five inputs to the lobby led high staircase, steps which stretched the entire width of the facade, completely hiding the passages in the crypt.

His idea of ??decorating the walls with pilasters large orders brings the doctrine of classical architecture, for which he had fought in his treatise, with the practical needs of the architecture of his time.

This constructive and decorative solutions of the internal space of the church did not know the architecture of the Italian Renaissance. In this respect, the true heir and successor Alberti became Bramante. Moreover, the construction of Alberti was a model for all subsequent ecclesiastical architecture of the late Renaissance and Baroque.

In her type were built by Venetian church by Palladio, "Il Gesu" Vignola and many other churches of the Roman Baroque. But it is especially important for the architecture of the High Renaissance and Baroque Alberti appeared innovation - the use of large orders in the decoration of the facade and interior.

In 1464, Albert left the service in the Curia, but continued to live in Rome. Among his last works include a treatise in 1465, dedicated to the principles of drawing up codes, and an essay in 1470 on moral themes. Leon Battista Alberti died April 25, 1472 in Rome.

The latest project to fruition Alberti in Mantua, after his death, in 1478-1480, respectively. It Cappella del Inkoronata Mantua Cathedral. Architectonic clear spatial structure, beautiful proportions of arches, easily carrying the dome and arches, rectangular door portals - provides all the style of the late klassitsiziruyuschie Alberti.

Alberti was in the center of the cultural life of Italy. Among his friends were the major humanists and artists (Brunelleschi, Donatello and Luca della Robbia), scientists (Toscanelli), the powers that be (Pope Nicholas the V, Piero and Lorenzo de `Medici, Giovanni Francesco and Ludovico Gonzaga, Sigismondo Malatesta, Lionello d` Este, Federigo de Mont tefeltro).

At the same time, he did not shun barber Burkello with whom exchanged sonnets, willingly would sit up late at night in the workshops of smiths, architects, boat builders, shoemakers, to find out from them the secrets of their art

Alberti was far superior to his contemporaries and talent, and curiosity, and versatility, and extreme mental alertness. It happily combined fine aesthetic sense and ability to think rationally and logically, drawing on the experience gained from communicating with people, nature, art, science, classical literature. Sickly from birth, he was able to make yourself healthy and strong. Because of the vital failures prone to pessimism and loneliness, he gradually came to the acceptance of life in all its manifestations