Santa Maria Novella, Florence. Completed 1470. Detail of facade. Licence: Public Domain. Credit: Quinok

Online study days

Leon Battista Alberti – Beyond Architecture

  • Begins: Monday 25 January 2021
    Until: Tuesday 26 January 2021
    (2-4 pm NB: booking closes 48 hours before the event)
  • Lecturer: Dr Andrew Spira

Leon Battista Alberti was the archetypal ‘humanist’. Although he is best known today as an architect, he was also a writer, poet and philosopher. Besides designing some of the most characteristic buildings of the Italian Renaissance, he wrote a definitive treatise on the notion of perspective that transformed the pictorial arts, as well as treatises on family values and cryptography.

These talks will examine the architectural monuments left by Alberti in Mantua, Florence and Rimini, and also address his other achievements, exploring their significance in the context of Renaissance culture as a whole, and reflecting on their impact on subsequent generations.


25 January    Bricks and Mortar: Alberti and Architectural Space

26 January    Words and Ideas: Alberti and the Spaces of the Mind


Dr Andrew Spira is an Art Historian who studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and City University, London. He was a specialist in Byzantine and Russian icons at the Temple Gallery, London, before working as a curator at the V&A Museum and was subsequently Programme Director at Christie’s Education, His recent publications include The Invention of the Self: Personal Identity in the Age of Art (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020) and Simulated Selves: The Undoing of Personal Identity in the Modern World (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020).

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