This anthology of the works of Alberti, a humanist scholar, contains the printed edition of his treatise, “On Painting,” a work he originally dedicated to the architect and artist Brunelleschi.
“Alberti’s window,” a technique of painting as if the canvas were an exact replica of a window, helped to solidify artists’ understanding of true geometrical linear perspective. Alberti’s technique made it possible to draw objects in foreshortened sizes, anywhere on the canvas, with reference to a central point of perspective.
It was also possible to paint the inside of a long, closed “perspective box” so that a viewer looking through a peephole at one end would see little worlds, expansive scenes, within the box as if one were looking upon the vistas of nature itself.
Additional essays included in this anthology are devoted to art, architecture, mathematics, literature and the first printing of Alberti’s foundational work in cryptography, written in 1467.