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Leon Battista Alberti

On Painting by Leon Battista Alberti (Penguin Classics)

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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.

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