Leon Battista Alberti (1404-72) was one of the most original, creative and exciting figures of the Italian Renaissance. Painter, scholar, lawyer, philosopher, scientist, musician, athlete and the first modern architect - if anyone can lay claim to the accolade "Renaissance Man" it must surely be Alberti.
Working in an age that valued magnificence, Alberti amazed his contemporaries. He wrote the first modern treatie on painting, the first modern manual of classical architecture and a powerful set of "dialogues" about the patrician families that dominated his home city of Florence.
Anthony Grafton's superb biography explores all aspects of this multifaceted man.