On Painting (Classics S)

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9780140433319: On Painting (Classics S)

Artist, architect, poet and philosopher, Leon Battista Alberti revolutionized the history of art with his theories of perspective in On Painting (1435). Inspired by the order and beauty inherent in nature, his groundbreaking work sets out the principles of distance, dimension and proportion; instructs the painter on how to use the rules of composition, representation, light and colour to create work that is graceful and pleasing to the eye; and stipulates the moral and artistic pre-requisites of the successful painter. On Painting had an immediate and profound influence on Italian Renaissance artists including Ghiberti, Fra Angelico and Veneziano and on later figures such as Leonardo da Vinci, and remains a compelling theory of art.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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From the Back Cover:

Alberti's Della Pittura was the first modern analytical study of painting, a pioneering treatise on the theory of art. A systematic description of the one-point perspective construction, it was primarily designed to persuade both patron and painter in the Renaissance to discard the old tastes in painting for the new. In his prologue, Alberti states that his work consists of three books: 'the first, all mathematics, concerning the roots in nature which are the source of this delightful and most noble art. The second book puts the art in the hand of the artist, distinguishing its parts and demonstrating all. The third introduces the artist to the means and the end, the ability and desire of acquiring perfect skill and knowledge in painting.'

About the Author:

Leon Battista Alberti was the archetype of the Renaissance 'universal man'. Bron in Genoa in 1404, he belonged to one of the wealthy merchant-banker families of Florence, and was sent to boarding school in Padua where he received a classical Latin education. Graduating in canon law from the University of Bologna, he subsequently entered the service of the Church and became a secretary in the Papal Chancery at Rome. Taking holy orders, he returned to Florence in 1434, where his association with Donatello and Brunelleschi led to the book On Painting and his interest in the design of Churches. He died in Rome in 1472. Cecil Grayson was Serena Professor of Italian Studies and Fellow of Magdalen College from 1958 to 1987 and was honoured by numerous Italian academies. The leading authority on Alberti's written work, he was awarded the CBE in 1992. Martin Kemp has been Professor of the History of Art at the University of Oxford since 1995.

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