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Leon Battista Alberti

La biblioteca di un umanista

Roberto Cardini

 
NOT AVAILABLE

edited by R. Cardini
in collaboration with L. Bertolini and M. Regoliosi

publication year: 2005
hardback with jacket
245x290 mm; 552 pp.
32 colour and 241 b&w illustrations

88-7461-084-X Italian

Of the books that once belonged to Leon Battista Alberti only few have survived; but the works we know he read and used, together with his own writings, are on display at the Laurentian Library (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, 8 October 2005-7 January 2006). This attempt at reconstruction is based on a close scrutiny of Alberti’s own “ideology of the book”, particularly of what he wrote on the subjects of books and libraries, the latter described as places which define a community, buildings that “give lustre” to the city, intellectual and moral shrines.

Preliminary to this investigation was – in the words of curator Roberto Cardini – “a systematic and thorough deconstruction” of the humanist’s texts in search of his sources: an approach justified by a famous passage of the Profugiorum ab erumna libri where Alberti compares literary works to mosaics. The result is not, however, a dry list of sources, for every ‘unit’ that was borrowed from other authors must be explained in the light of its new context. It is interesting to observe this procedure at work, for instance, in Alberti’s treatment of a classic topic such as the respective merits of the active and contemplative lives, where he draws extensively from Petrarch’s De vita solitaria but eventually endorses the view that human conversation should not be given up, and that literary and scientific (even architectural) work are not so distant as they might seem.

Lenders include the Marcian Library, the Vatican Library, the British Library, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and virtually all major Florentine libraries; amongst the latter, the Laurentian Library stands out for contributing a selection of its beautiful illuminated manuscripts. The first part of the catalogue comprises essays by Paola Benigni, Lucia Bertolini, Andrea Cantile, Roberto Cardini, Stefano G. Casu, Donatella Coppini, Sandro De Maria, Ida Mastrorosa, Michel Paoli, Mariangela Regoliosi, Giovanni Rossi and Caterina Tristano and numerous illustrations of autograph writings by Alberti and manuscripts on display in the exhibition. The second part is divided into three sections: the first deals with documents, the second with Alberti’s own writings, the third with the classical and medieval authors whose works Alberti read and studied.

Table of contents:

Presentazioni
Roberto Cardini, Introduzione
Roberto Cardini, Alberti e i libri
Paola Benigni, I documenti della biografia albertiana: ciò che sappiamo e ciò che resta da fare
Caterina Tristano, Il modello e la regola: teoria e pratiche di scrittura di Leon Battista Alberti
Donatella Coppini, Leon Battista Alberti si corregge. Il caso della Mosca Riccardiana
Lucia Bertolini, Primo (e provvisorio) elenco di copisti e possessori di codici contenenti opere albertiane
Michel Paoli, Les portraits de Leon Battista Alberti des XVe et XVIe siècles
Roberto Cardini, Alberti o della scrittura come mosaico
Mariangela Regoliosi, “Libri” ed “esperienza”: Alberti e le “litterae”
Lucia Bertolini, Per la biblioteca greca dell’Alberti
Mariangela Regoliosi, Per un catalogo degli “auctores” latini dell’Alberti
Stefano G. Casu, Strumenti artistici e della pratica architettonica nei trattati di Leon Battista Alberti
Andrea Cantile, Misura e rappresentazione urbana nelle opere di Leon Battista Alberti
Roberto Cardini, Cui dono poma centum?
Ida Mastrorosa, Alberti e il sapere scientifico antico: fra i meandri di una biblioteca interdisciplinare
Roberto Cardini, Alberti e l’astrologia
Sandro De Maria, Leon Battista Alberti e l’antiquaria dell’Umanesimo
Giovanni Rossi, Lo scaffale giuridico nella biblioteca di Leon Battista Alberti
Roberto Cardini, Lo scaffale elegiaco dell’Alberti. Properzio e la “rifondazione” albertiana dell’elegia

TAVOLE
I. Autografi albertiani
II. Codici esposti

LA BIBLIOTECA DELL’ALBERTI
I. I documenti familiari
Premessa
Schede
II. Il laboratorio della scrittura
Premessa
Schede
III. I libri posseduti e letti
Premessa
1. Codici posseduti da Leon Battista Alberti
2. Autori greci
3. Autori latini
4. Vulgata e autori cristiani
5. Autori medievali e contemporanei

Abbreviazioni bibliografiche. Indici. Referenze fotografiche