The Life and Works of Leon Battista Alberti Essay

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Europe after the Black Death moved into a period of intense creative revolution and advancement in all creative fields. This Renaissance period moved all aspects art and architecture away from the medieval gothic style and into a time of classical rejuvenation. The architectural side of this movement grew out of Italian cities like Florence, Venice and Rome and would greatly impact architectural design throughout the world for centuries. Among the most influential architects of this period was Leon Battista Alberti, a prodigious writer, thinker and designer from Florence. Alberti was raised during his most formative years, the first part of the 15th century, in the shadow of Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi's successful design for the Duomo …show more content…
This prompted Alberti to take on the task of writing his own ten-book treatise on architecture that he would use to win commissions from wealthy clients and discuss the principals of design with other thinkers. The treatise covers everything related to the field of architecture from city planning to engineering and even the philosophy of beauty. The most pertinent book of the ten for this study on residential buildings and the centralized cortile is book five. Alberti begins his discussion in book five with a short chapter on the two main types of wealthy rulers: tyrants and kings. These rulers were the same people that would consult architects like Alberti, so he primarily discusses what is necessary for their domestic buildings and only briefly mentions residential buildings for citizens of a lower class. In this chapter he argues that a tyrant must be able to defend himself against a local uprising and should design his house with adequate protection from such (Alberti 117). In contrast, he argues that a king need only defend his city against external enemies and can neglect the battlements and urban divisions a tyrant would need to protect his home. Aside from this difference in protection, most of the other elements of a residential structure Alberti describes are the same for both tyrants and peaceful rulers. In all residential buildings, be it religious, royal or common, Alberti decidedly uses the centralized court as the most

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