A Critical Response to Vitruvius & Alberti Essay

Words: 1010
Pages: 5

ARC131 H1F 3rd October 2012
Mikaile Ibrahim
Throughout history, the makings of an architect have changed by stark proportions and so did the requirements of the finished creation. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (80 B.C.E), famously known as Vitruvius, wrote in The Ten Books on Architecture of how the architect must possess wide knowledge and expertise in many fields of study, and that his buildings must encompass firmitas [durability], utilitas [usefulness], venustas [beauty] (Vitruvius, 33) and harmonious symmetry that of which is found in nature and in man. Leon Battista Alberti (1407-1476), however, stresses in his book Art of Building in Ten Books that the
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Communities had formed because of a roof and walls. He goes on to say that it was the architect who brilliantly designed everyday constructs, things to keep humans healthy and fed, as well as monumental creations which garner peoples’ worship and prayers. He stretches the architects usefulness to that of war machines and devices that assist in siege. In conclusion, the architect has paved the way for entire pathways to lead to new lands and provinces. His premise mostly revolves around the architect and his efficacy, his abilities to provide society with homes, protection against unfavourable weather; making it possible for travel and trade, health, and assist in defense against external threats. He constituted ideologies of architecture as rendering the harmony, variety and beauty found in nature. Alberti had a mid-Renaissance upbringing. This was the prime time for an emerging architect, or a disciple of any of the arts. Since the Renaissance was at its intensity during the mid-1400s, Alberti himself was a Renaissance man, and as mentioned before, he excelled in many fields of art and knowledge. His understanding of contemporary architecture in the 1400s served not only to housing people, but more than that. The architect was a civil servant who graciously donated his capabilities to all aspects of the development of a society and its communities. The architect therefore, was his own Renaissance man, in that, he is a man possessing not an expertise in