Caspar Pearson (Warburg Institute) in conversation with Fabio Barry (Warburg Institute)

A new account of the Renaissance author and architect Leon Battista Alberti. One of the most brilliant and original authors and architects of the entire Renaissance, Leon Battista Alberti had an output that encompassed engineering, surveying, cryptography, poetry, humour, political commentary and more. He employed irony, satire and playful allusion in his written works, and developed a sophisticated approach to architecture that combined the ancient and modern. Born into the Florentine elite, Alberti was nonetheless disadvantaged owing to exile and illegitimacy. As a result, he became an acute analyst of the social institutions of his time, as well as a profoundly existential writer who was intensely interested in the human condition. This new account by Caspar Pearson explores Alberti’s life and works, examining how his personal and intellectual preoccupations continually pushed him to engage with an ever-broader spectrum of Renaissance culture.

Renaissance Lives is a series of biographies published by Reaktion Books as well as a series of conversations discussing the ways in which individuals transmitted or changed the lives of traditions, ideas and images.

This event took place on 19 October 2023.