Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) was the most versatile humanist of the fifteenth century: author of numerous compositions in both Latin and Italian, and a groundbreaking theorist of painting, sculpture, and architecture. His Latin writings owe much to the model of Petrarch (1304-1374), the famed poet of the Italian Canzoniere, but also a prolific author of Latin epistles, biographies, and poems that sparked the revival of classical culture in the early Italian Renaissance. The essays collected here reflect some thirty years of research into these pioneers of Humanism, and offer important insights into forms of Renaissance 'self-fashioning' such as allegory and autobiography.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Part 1 Introductory: Alberti, Leon Battista; Leon Battista Alberti at the millennium (review essay); The self expressed: Leon Battista Alberti's autobiography. Part 2 Petrarch: Petrarch and Alberti; Petrarch and Jerome; Petrarch and Suetonius: the imperial ideal in the republic of letters; Poetics and polemics in Petrarch's invectives; The burning question: crisis and cosmology in the Secret (Secretum). Part 3 Albertian Allegory and Symbolism: Alberti's Momus: sources and contexts; Alberti and Apuleius: comic violence and vehemence in the Intercenales and Momus; Alberti, Scala, and Ficino: Aesop in quattrocento Florence; Visualizing virtue: Alberti and the early Renaissance emblem; Alberti and symbolic thinking: prolegomena to the dialogue Anuli; L'Alberti, il Pisanello e gli Este: Devises e medaglie umanistiche nel primo Quattrocento. Part 4 Poggio, Alberti and Vat. Lat. 4037: De curialium incommodis: Alberti and Poggio; Poggio and Alberti: three notes; Girolamo Massaini trascrittore dell'Alberti (with Paolo d'Alessandro). Part 5 Textual Problems in Alberti: Further notes on Leon Battista Alberti's Dinner Pieces; Textual problems in the Intercenales; Index.
David Marsh is Professor of Italian at Rutgers University, USA.
'... the volume is an invaluable resource for all Alberti scholars. Such a widely varied collection of articles provides a useful overview of Alberti, through its introductory material and through the varied types of textual analysis that it includes. Readers of Marsh's books will find both the seeds of his later projects and thoughtful reflections on previously published works, thus enjoying an intriguing glimpse in the evolution of a scholar, as well as informative studies on two significant Renaissance writers.' Sixteenth Century Journal