Biography (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Alberti is identified by Renaissance historians as an archetype of the universal man. He established a leading reputation as a theorist and practitioner of the visual arts, notably in the field of architecture. As a Humanist, he was the author of numerous moral dialogues.
The prominent Albertis were known as textile merchants and bankers. In Florence they were associated with the Popular Party. Their decline began with the exile of Leon Battista Alberti’s grandfather Benedetto, who left Florence with his son Lorenzo in 1387. Leon Battista was born in Genoa, the second natural son of Lorenzo and Bianca Fieschi, widow of a prominent Genoese family. On her death from the plague in 1406, Lorenzo moved to Venice, where he joined another brother, Ricciardo, in trade, shortly thereafter marrying a Florentine woman in 1408.
Leon Battista and his brother Carlo received the best Humanist education available. At Gasparino, Barzizza’s academy in Padua, he studied with many who were to become major scholars in the world of Renaissance learning, such as Panormita and Francesco Filelfo. In 1421, Alberti went to Bologna, where he deepened his knowledge of Greek and Latin literature and began his studies of mathematics. Following the death of...
(The entire section is 1812 words.)
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