Alberti’s Missing Appendix

Author: Ruth Morrow

  • Alberti’s Missing Appendix


    Alberti’s Missing Appendix



Him I consider the architect, who by sure and wonderful reason and method, knows both how to devise through his own mind and energy, and to realise by construction, whatever can be most beautifully fitted out for the noble needs of man, by the movement of weights and the joining and massing of bodies. To do this he must have an understanding and knowledge of all the highest and most noble disciplines. This then is the architect. Leon Alberti Batista, On the Art of Building in Ten Books. Leon Battista Alberti wrote ten books and five appendices.1 Four of the appendices have been lost including the text entitled ‘The Service that the Architect provides’. This paper will look at residual evidence in Alberti’s Books that gives form to the work or the service of an architect of his period (1404-1472).2 It will then examine the everyday work of an architect of this time (i.e. the author), briefly examining projects that represent the polarities of a ‘practice’ that sits outside mainstream architecture. Whilst Alberti is understood as one of architecture’s founding fathers, he was also atypical of his own time. Alberti’s passion and skill challenged and supported the development of ‘Architecture’ and for that reason, though he may belong to an alternative value system to that of the author, he is in some ways a mentor. It is hoped that by reflecting on ‘Alberti and me’3 the mainstream can be reviewed, and a process initiated that leads to the reconstruction of Alberti’s Appendix for this time and place.

How to Cite:

Morrow, R., (2008) “Alberti’s Missing Appendix”, field 2(1), 63–74.

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Published on
02 Oct 2008
Peer Reviewed