On Painting

On Painting

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Artist, architect, poet and philosopher, Leon Battista Alberti revolutionised 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 Lorenzo Ghiberti, Fra Angelico and Domenico Veneziano and on later figures such as Leonardo da Vinci, and remains a compelling theory of art.

Cecil Grayson's translation is regarded as the finest English version of Alberti's Latin text. This edition contains diagrams integrated into the text, an introduction by Martin Kemp discussing On Painting in the light of Aberti's life and philosophy, explanatory notes and updated further reading.


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