Concinnitas in the architectural theory and practice of Leon Battista Alberti.
Tavernor, Robert William
University of Cambridge
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Tavernor, R. W. (1985). Concinnitas in the architectural theory and practice of Leon Battista Alberti. (doctoral thesis).
In his treatise on architecture, de re aedificatoria, Leon Battista Alberti (1404 - 72) described Beauty in architecture as concinnitas: a harmony or congruity of the various parts of a building assembled according to principles :summarised by three categories of numerus, finitio and collocatio . This term has been interpreted variously and most famously in recent times by Rudolph Wittkower. Starting with his and other scholars' interpretations, this dissertation proposes a new definition for concinnitas based on studies of Alberti's architectural theory and practice and the work of his contemporaries. Chapters 1, 3 and 4 of the dissertation focus on the application of numerus and finitio in Alberti's architectural practice and observations made here are supported by separate historical studies of the buildings (be found in the appendices) and survey drawings (bound together at the end of the dissertation). Chapter two is a study of the symbolic references, traditions and themes which appear to underlie the design of centralised churches and points raised here are expanded in later chapters. The third category, collocatio, is examined in the final chapters when the continuity of tradition in Alberti's approach to architecture is outlined within the framework of the city and the urban ensemble of church, palace, piazza and loggia.
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