Manus 8:  Alberti, Leon Battista.  De Pictura [On Painting]. Edit


Component Unique Identifier
Item 8
Level of Description


  • 1485 (Creation)


  • Scope and Contents

    Language: Latin.

    Date: 1485.

    Title: De Pictura [On Painting].

    Creator: Alberti, Leon Battista ; Unknown.

    Place of creation: Unknown.

    Physical description: Paper, 39 leaves ; 27 x 20 cm.

    Summary: A late 15th century manuscript copy of the first known treatise on the art of painting, by Leon Battista Alberti, an Italian humanist whose life is described in Giorgio Vasari’s Vite (cf. Vasari, The Lives of the Artists, trans. Julia and Peter Bondanella (NY: Oxford UP, 1998) [N6922 .V2213 1998]). Alberti wrote the Latin De Pictura in 1435, and then produced a vernacular translation, Della Pittura in 1436. He dedicated the volume to the artist and architect Filippo Brunelleschi. Leonardo Da Vinci greatly admired Alberti, and was familiar with this treatise, which almost certainly inspired his own work on painting, Trattato della Pittura.

    Note: Small folio. Fine humanistic script in dark brown ink on paper in a single hand ; four chapter-headings in red ; one large initial drawn in ink on f. 1 r. ; several other initials penciled in for illumination. First two leaves written in two columns ; text block 18 x 14 cm. ; leaves rubricated in lead ; manuscript notation in other hands on front free endpaper and on f. 39 v. ; includes a few marginal notes, some trimmed by binding. Bound in vellum backed undecorated paper boards and housed in a protective plastic sleeve and slipcase. Gift of Bern Dibner, n.d.

    Former Call #: Ms. 8

    Call #: Manus 8