La Pittura

02 ALBERTI Leon Battista La PitturaALBERTI, Leon Battista

(trad. Ludovico Domenichi)

Giolito, Venezia, 1547

In 8vo; cc. 44, a woodcut typographic mark on title and lastpage, xylographic initials; on title page a possession notedated 1586 and more manuscript entries; many captions andcontemporary underlines that show this copy as a scholar’sor artist’s one. Coloured boards binding. Some light restorationson edges of some leaf.

Dedicated to Francesco Salviati.

The first Italian edition of the basic Renaissance perspectiveessay. Alberti sets up in this text the knowledge rules topainters of “cut and surface”, i.e. the visual pyramid theory,of colors, of painting history, of the three things that “makeperfect the painting, inscription, composition and to receive light”.

The “De pictura is a basic theoretical work of exceptionalsignificance in the perspective history; for the first time, absolutely,the still young big humanist shows in it the conceptualrules of the new science and shaped the objectiveprospectic work as an intersection of the visual pyramid, havingits summit in the eye and its base included in the apparentshape of the observed object” (Vagnetti).

The De pictura was written in Latin in 1435 and printed forthe first time in Basilea only in 1540, with its Latin text. Thefirst Italian edition with the translation of humanist LodovicoDomenichi (1514-1564) is “absolutely the second one”

Fowler 15. Cicognara 388. Schlosser p. 125, 127, 155. VagnettiFowler 15. Cicognara 388. Schlosser p. 125, 127, 155. VagnettiElb4.

Leon Battista Alberti (Genova 1404 – Rome 1472) “left fora while his law studies, devoted himself to physics and mathematics,as matters that he considered less tiring for memory,getting in touch with the interests that later hedeveloped in scientific and architecture works. He kept anywayhis canonic law degree in Bologna, in 1428… Back toFlorence in 1434, during these rough days prior the recallfrom exile of Cosimo de’Medici, he became friend (or justrenewed his friendship) with Brunelleschi, Donatello, Burchiello(whom he exchanged some sonnets with), Vespasianode Bisticci, Marco Parenti and Piero di Cosimo de’Medici;he was in company of Leonardo Bruni, Carlo Marsuppini,Poggio Bracciolini, Leonardo Dati, Giannozzo Manetti andmore famous contemporary humanists, and poets and writersin Italian, as like his relative Francesco D’Altobianco.He was immediately stroke by the artistic renewal of the cityand, also due to studies and exercises he had already donein Rome, he wrote in 1435 in latin his important brochure Depictura, that he then translated and dedicated to Brunelleschi”(Dbi)


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Catalogue 2018 - History of arts, Renaissance and Baroque. Books and texts from XVI to XVIII century


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